RMT response to today’s Government publication of figures of the number of UK seafarers in the shipping industry

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, joins a picket line opposite Victoria Station in London, as hundreds of thousands of rail passengers face a week of travel chaos because of a five-day strike in an escalating dispute over the role of conductors.

Ratings union RMT today responded with scepticism to the Government’s publication of figures for the number of UK seafarers in the shipping industry, based on data produced by the UK Chamber of Shipping.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Today’s figures are helpful in demonstrating, once again, that growth in the fortunes of the UK shipping industry are not benefiting UK seafarers.

“The total number of Ratings jobs apparently increased by over 15,200 between 2017 and 2018 with UK seafarers accounting for 14% of those jobs. In fact, the DfT figures show that the proportion of UK seafarers working as Ratings on UK Chamber of Shipping member vessels has gone down compared to 2017.

“The  underlying problems of nationality based pay discrimination, chronically low training rates and inferior employment rights continue to blight our shipping industry.

“Increasing the industry’s reliance on non-UK seafarers is absolutely the wrong way to prepare for Brexit and RMT strongly urge the Government to demand that the UK Chamber of Shipping works to genuinely increase UK seafarer jobs, rather than relying on them for dubious data that can be spun positively.”

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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