01/29/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/29/2020 09:23
RMT calls for action now to protect safety and increase UK seafarer jobs on P&O Ferries from Hull
Following Hull East MP Karl Turner's exchange with the Prime Minister in the Commons today, seafarers' union RMT responded to demand immediate Government action on ferry company P&O jeopardising safety and undercutting jobs in the UK shipping industry by bringing 100 Filipino seafarers to replace crew on passenger ships working between Hull and the continent.
Karl Turner MP: told the House:
'P&O ferries in Hull are flying in Filipino seafarers to work for far below the national minimum wage. They are expected to work 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week, for six months at a time and the Prime Minister will remember that the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster which claimed the lives of 193 passengers and crew was caused by seafarer fatigue. Will he agree to meet a cross party group of MPs to discuss this issue and to try to put this issue to bed once and for all and, indeed, to support British seafarers' jobs?'
The Prime Minister responded:
'He's absolutely right to raise this issue and I think that it is a serious issue. I've been told that the replacement crews' working pattern meets the requirements of international maritime conventions but plainly there are concerns that we have, for all the reasons that he mentions. Perhaps the shortest answer I can give is that I know that my Right Honourable Friend the Transport Secretary will be only too happy to meet him and others concerned.'
RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said:
'P&O clearly think there's nothing to Boris Johnson's campaign pledges to create jobs in northern port towns.
'The Government must take action now to stop P&O and others from shopping around the world for the cheapest seafarers to work on unsafe contracts on ships from UK ports.
'We are ready to work with Karl Turner MP and others to ensure that P&O don't get away with this dangerous exploitation of foreign seafarers.'