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Posted on 12 December 2018 at 10:51 GMT

Liverpool seafarers demand better conditions, 30.11.18 , photo by Neill Dunne

Liverpool seafarers demand better conditions, 30.11.18 , photo by Neill Dunne

Liverpool seafarers demand better conditions

Liverpool seafarers took part in a protest outside the Seatruck terminal on Liverpool docklands on the morning of Friday 30th November.

Seatruck Ferries is a freight transporting business on the Irish Sea, carrying 20% of Irish-UK freight.

It is receiving a lot of business whereby it saw post tax profits of 9.4 million in 2017 and paid out 23.5 million in dividends over the last three years to shareholders of Danish parent company, Clipper Group.

Yet, Seatruck shows a clear contempt for the working conditions of its seafarers on these shipping routes.

As Darren Procter, on the national executive for shipping of the RMT union, explains: "Good ferry operators pay a decent wage, provide pensions, acknowledge the challenges and demands of seafarers and agree with unions that a safe roster is either one or two weeks of work at a time followed by an equal period of rest".

However, Seatruck is exploiting EU legislation by hiring EU staff rather than local seafarers, which drives wages through the floor.

In fact seafarers report that they have seen some rates of pay drop to as little as 3.78 an hour, whereas Seatruck's highest paid director received a 17% increase in pay to over 304,780!

Liverpool Seafarers demand better conditions, 30.11.18, photo by Neill Dunne

Liverpool Seafarers demand better conditions, 30.11.18, photo by Neill Dunne

Overworking and underpaying staff while not recognising trade unions is a clear disregard for the conditions of staff.

The RMT is attempting to see demands of the seafarers met, which are trade union recognition and a minimum wage in line with the UK and Ireland.

They also want to see safe roster patterns, proper rates of pay and pension provision. It awaits a response from Seatruck.

Neill Dunne, Liverpool & District Socialist Party

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