UK’s new National Minimum Wage guidance does not end problems around enforcing NMW rates of pay and preventing nationality-based pay discrimination in the UK shipping industry, the country’s RMT union said.
The union has warned that the new government guidance will not tackle chronic low pay to foreign seafarers which is driving the decline of UK seafarer numbers and the national maritime skills base, including on routes between UK ports and to the offshore oil and gas sector.
It has also been released ahead of recommendations from an expert working group, including RMT and maritime union Nautilus, employers and Government departments which have been looking at improving the application and enforcement of the NMW for all seafarers in the UK shipping industry.
Steve Todd, RMT National Secretary, said that NMW pay rates should be applied and enforced for all seafarers working on vessels between UK ports and to the offshore oil and gas industry on the UK continental shelf.
“It is unacceptable that changes to the machinery of Government seem to have resulted in an attack on UK seafarers and the continuation of the exploitation of foreign seafarers working from and between UK ports. We will be seeking an immediate response from the Government, as this is totally unacceptable,” Todd added.