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Safety and employment on cross Channel ferries

EDM (Early Day Motion) 359: tabled on 21 July 2021

Tabled in the 2021-22 session.

This motion has been signed by 17 Members. It has not yet had any amendments submitted.

Motion text

That this House is concerned by safety and employment standards on cross Channel ferry services; notes that Irish Ferries’ crew on the Dover-Calais route conduct five times more Channel crossings before a period of leave than colleagues at P&O Ferries; further notes that roster patterns on P&O and DFDS ferries from Dover are agreed with the recognised unions, partly to reflect the increased risk of seafarer fatigue on operationally intense cross Channel ferry routes; notes that Irish Ferries does not recognise trade unions and employ seafarers via a Cypriot crewing agent on voyage-only contracts which pay some crew below the National Minimum Wage to work for twelve hours a day for six weeks with no pension provision; is further concerned that the likelihood of a serious maritime safety incident in the Channel is increased by Irish Ferries’ business model; believes that local seafarers are effectively excluded from applying for work at Irish Ferries, which also damages the local economy; notes that Irish Ferries does not operate a seafarer apprenticeship scheme; notes that only 13 per cent of Ratings jobs in the UK shipping industry are held by UK seafarers; and calls on the Government to work with the RMT and other trade unions to improve safety and increase employment and training for UK seafarers on strategically vital cross Channel ferry services, as part of the sector’s sustainable recovery from the covid-19 pandemic.