It was oral questions to the Secretary of State for Transport this morning during which I asked a question about seafarers pay.
It’s unbelievable that after the appalling behaviour of P and O we are seeing the Government hand over thousands and thousands of pounds to a company doing exactly the same to their workers.
By way of comparison here is a list of the employment conditions at P&O Ferries today and those at Irish Ferries when they set up on the Dover-Calais route over a year ago.
Seafarer pay well below the minimum wage? TICK
Roster patterns of a month or more ? TICK
Crew employed by overseas agencies ? TICK
No trade union recognition ? TICK
Cypriot flagged ferries ? TICK
Despite these striking similarities and the Government coming up with a Nine Point Plan (which only addresses minimum wage within UK territorial waters) There will be no new rights conferred upon seafarers. Thousands of British Ratings and Officers operating services for the likes of DFDS and Stena Line have no assurances that their jobs are safe under his government, and that is a disgrace.
We are working closely with unions to strengthen the Seafarers Wages bill and I will ensure that we continue to hold the Government accountable for their inaction upon bad bosses.