House of Commons
Government support for seafarers during the covid-19 outbreak
EDM #448
Tabled 06 May 2020
2019-21 Session
That this House notes that seafarers and dockers are classed by the Government as key workers; pays tribute to the vital role they have played in keeping the UK moving and connected during the Coronavirus crisis; is concerned by the findings of the RMT trade union survey of seafarers and port workers that employers are seeking to erode terms and conditions of employment in 65 per cent of cases, whilst 33 per cent of seafarers have not been supplied with personal protective equipment and 39 per cent of maritime workers believe that employers are putting safety before profit; further notes that some ferry companies have abandoned sick pay schemes, are making redundancies and want to permanently replace UK Ratings with non-UK crews paid below the National Minimum Wage; notes that these attacks on seafarers are taking place despite the UK taxpayer supporting 80 per cent of the wages of over 2,100 maritime workers, mainly seafarers and dockers furloughed by P&O Ferries and Stena Line; agrees with the RMT that all taxpayer support given to employers during and after the pandemic should be linked to adequate safety protection and increased employment and training for UK Ratings and port workers in the long term; and also urges the Government to work with the RMT to set a new deal for the maritime industry which ends the UK’s reliance on low cost crewing on shipping routes from UK ports and to re-build maritime employment, infrastructure and skills, particularly in port towns and cities.