The offshore workers union, RMT, have hit back at UK Government report on seafarer minimum wage claiming that it will not tackle pay issues within the offshore oil and gas sector.
RMT warn that the guidance, released yesterday, will have no impact in the “chronic low pay” to foreign seafarers.
The union also believe that the new guidelines would not apply to routes between UK ports and the offshore oil and gas sector
RMT accuse the government of ignoring those aspects which are “driving the decline of UK seafarer numbers and the national maritime skills base”.
Yesterday’s report said that offshore workers operating within UK waters need be paid at least the minimum wage for their work.
The government warning and guidance has been provoked by rising concerns about unfair working conditions and pay on ships registered outside the UK but operating within its waters.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “This will not help UK seafarers compete for jobs on vessels working between UK ports and from UK ports to offshore energy installations where seafarers from other EU countries can be paid as low as £3.78 per hour and non-EU seafarers even lower, at £2.41 per hour on UK flagged ships. Our members who have lost their jobs on offshore supply and standby vessels as a result of the fall in oil prices in 2014 will be particularly outraged by this.
“RMT will be seeking immediate answers from the Government as to why they have jumped the gun on this issue and shut seafarers out of effective protections of their employment and equality rights.”
Steve Todd, RMT national secretary added: ““It is unacceptable that changes to the machinery of Government seem to have resulted in an attack on UK seafarers and the continuation of the exploitation of foreign seafarers working from and between UK ports. We will be seeking an immediate response from the Government, as this is totally unacceptable.”