Demand for Government Action to Protect Seafarers from Exploitation in UK Ferries

Two years after P&O Ferries sacked almost its entire UK-resident seafarer workforce, the company's scandalous actions have not been forgotten. Nautilus, alongside the TUC and RMT union, is fighting for legislative changes to protect seafarers and prevent future injustices. The government's actions post-P&O Ferries have been criticized for not doing enough to address the issues.
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Two years after P&O Ferries sacked its UK-resident seafarer workforce, the scandalous actions have not been forgotten. Nautilus, along with the TUC and RMT union, is demanding more government action to prevent such disgraceful acts in the future. Despite some initiatives like the Seafarers’ Wages Act and the Seafarers’ Welfare Charter, the government has not done enough to protect seafarers from exploitation.

The Seafarers Wages Act extended the UK National Minimum Wage to seafarers on ferries, but it did not address the core issue of companies like P&O Ferries employing foreign seafarers on weaker terms and conditions. The Act also did not regulate roster patterns, a major cost-cutting measure for companies. Additionally, the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act loopholes allowed P&O Ferries to exploit the system without consequences.

Nautilus is pushing for a mandatory Seafarers’ Charter with political support from Labour and the Transport Select Committee. The goal is to enforce collective bargaining and outlaw fire and rehire practices to protect seafarers from unfair treatment. The fight for better conditions for maritime professionals continues until the race to the bottom in pay and conditions is ended.

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