Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1024/28469
From The Socialist newspaper, 9 January 2019
Ferry workers protest against £2.45 an hour pay
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.
- A protest has been called for 12 January, 7am at Portsmouth International Port, George Byng Way, PO2 8SP
Nick Chaffey, Southern Socialist Party secretary
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
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
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
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
Theatre review: Women of Aktion - the heroic story of how World War One was ended
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 9 January 2019 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook