10/13/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/13/2020 06:29
SEAFARERS' UNION RMT has responded to the news that the Department for Transport has issued contracts worth £77.6m to ferry operators, including P&O Ferries, Stena Line and DFDS to provide additional maritime freight capacity once the Brexit process is completed on 31 December 2020.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
'It is not enough that these companies actually own ships, these contracts must guarantee British seafarer employment. We will not stand for taxpayers' money being used to subsidise ferry companies that recruit crew from outside the UK so they can pay them less, including rates below the National Minimum Wage.
'These international routes are critical to our economic future, yet P&O are walking away from Hull-Zeebrugge and over 1,200 UK seafarers have lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic.
'Support to ferry operators to cover for the Government's bungled Brexit must be on the condition that seafarer jobs in our coastal communities are protected. RMT call on the Government to ensure that these basic protections for British seafarers' jobs are in place on these contracts and on any future contracts signed under the Freight Capacity Framework Agreement.'