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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 January 2019

Ferry workers protest against 2.45 an hour pay

  (Click to enlarge)

The scandal of low pay by profiteering shipping lines is being fought by a sustained campaign of the RMT transport union.

A recent protest took place in Portsmouth, where Darren Procter, RMT national secretary, outlined the problems that seafarers face: "Our campaign was launched in 2012 to expose the practice by Condor ferries of paying 2.45 an hour for 12-hour shifts, seven days a week on two month rosters.

"This is compared to an equivalent merchant seaman grade earning 27,000 a year, working 'week on, week off'."

This is despite the fact that Condor ferries run to the Channel Islands from Portsmouth, a council-owned port in UK waters, but avoid minimum wage legislation through the EU posted workers directive, where workers can be paid under the terms of their country of origin.

Darren explained: "The RMT is fighting to ensure all workers on Condor ferries are paid according to proper industry standards with 'week on, week off' contracts, to create jobs and ensure safer passage." As well as fighting for better pay, conditions and union recognition, the RMT are demanding the company agree binding targets for seafarer apprentices over the lifetime of the next contract.

"Condor have a monopoly on the service to the Channel Islands under a tender that ends in 2019. In a survey, 81% of islanders said the service was 'unsatisfactory' as a result of rising fares, safety issues and cancellations."

Under private ownership by Australian Macquarie bank, Condor ferries are run for profit not people.

If these services cannot be run with safe, well-paid crews, providing an affordable and reliable service while in private hands, then an incoming Corbyn-led Labour government should nationalise these and other ferry services.

Nick Chaffey, Southern Socialist Party secretary

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In The Socialist 9 January 2019:


What we think

Brexit vote round two: Corbyn must fight for a socialist alternative to the Tory deal and bosses' EU


News

Tories Out. End austerity. Mass working-class action for a general election

'Fat Cat Friday' shows where all the money's gone

Javid's migrant 'emergency'

Death in a doorway: struggle can end homelessness

Them & Us

What we saw


Workplace news

PCS Left Unity assistant general secretary election rerun

Far right attack on Manchester rail workers' picket line - trade union fightback needed

Grayling's attacks on rail workers wages 'un-fare'

Solid strike by Arriva bus drivers

Ferry workers protest against 2.45 an hour pay

UCU Wales suspends FE strike action


German revolution 100 years on

Heroic martyrs of German Revolution


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Disruption of Leeds Socialist Party meeting shows need for unions to lead real struggle

Bringing socialist ideas into movements on women's rights

Tremendous effort sees Socialist Party smash fighting fund target in 2018

NHS funding crisis: Tory 'super-plan' is a super-con!

Linking LGBT+ rights to the fight for socialism

North Tyneside Campaigning to save our footbridge

Carmarthenshire council: Unison demands no-cuts budget


International socialist news and analysis

Protests continue to rage in Sudan

Blocked for years, but the Socialist Party of Nigeria is now standing in elections


Opinion

Theatre review: Women of Aktion - the heroic story of how World War One was ended

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Ferries:

triangle1987 Zeebrugge disaster

triangleRMT members to strike at CalMac ferries

triangleCondor Ferries: Fight for a living wage

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Workers:

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RMT:

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Portsmouth:

triangleThe unheard voices of Gosport

EU:

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