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From: Article posted to home page Notebook, 24 February 2014: Brief articles and notes on the Socialist Party website

Search site for keywords: RMT - Strike - Portsmouth - Ferries - Seafarers

RMT eemonstration in Portsmouth on 18.2.14 to support striking deck-crew in St Malo

RMT demonstration in Portsmouth on 18.2.14 to support striking deck-crew in St Malo   (Click to enlarge)

RMT supports ferry crew strike in St Malo

A solidarity demonstration organised by the RMT took place at Portsmouth ferry terminal on Tuesday to support striking deck-crew organising a sit-in on board the Condor ferry "Rapide" in St Malo. Condor are notorious for their super exploitation of crews, paying just 2.35 an hour for 12-hour shifts.

Local RMT seafarer Kevin asked: "As an unemployed seafarer in Portsmouth how can I take a job at 2.35 an hour?"

Mark Carden, RMT, speaking at the demonstration explained: "We are here to support French seafarers fighting for the same rights as any other seafarer in France. Social dumping is a sustained attack on terms and conditions. The RMT has been fighting this for two years, now is an opportunity to escalate this issue and mobilise support for the campaign".

Condor ferries are owned by Australian banking group McQuarrie, which also owns Wightlink ferries that are run from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight. Wightlink ferries are run with workers receiving proper pay and conditions. Why is Condor able to get away with this exploitation? It is no accident that RMT is well organised and recognised at Wightlink.

The strike action ended on Friday after two weeks with management conceding to some of the strikers' demands.

Nick Chaffey
Update to follow

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