UK Ratings’ jobs down to 8% revealed in new shipping industry stats


Seafarers union RMT, lambasted government inaction over challenging super exploitation in the shipping industry after new figures showed that only 11% of employees in the British shipping industry are UK residents.

New official figures show there has been a 38% annual increase in the total number of Ratings jobs in the UK shipping industry, to over 125,000.

However, only 8% are UK Ratings and only 11% of all seafarers are UK residents.

This means that the vast majority of seafarers in the UK shipping are non-EEA nationals on P&O-style contracts which pay below the minimum wage and lack employment and welfare protections.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The import of labour conditions from outside the European Economic Area is a stain on this country’s reputation for fairness, with foreign seafarers often receiving dreadful pay and enduring appalling employment conditions in service of the UK economy.

“Industry leaders continue to deny opportunities to UK seafarers from growing demand and the government needs to take firm action to curb this continued race to the bottom.

“There needs to be a mandatory seafarers charter and full employment rights for seafarers, equivalent to those working on land.

“Ahead of the P&O second anniversary, this is a stark reminder of the Tory’s indifference to the urgent need for seafarers to be protected from aggressive business models, like those developed in Dubai, the Philippines and other parts of the world hostile to trade union rights and employment conditions that reflect the economies in which they operate.”