RMT and Nautilus demand clampdown on shipping ‘work permit abuses’
Thu, 24 May 2012
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) joined shipping industry union Nautilus International yesterday (23 May) in urging home secretary Theresa May to take action on what they believe is shipping companies failing to comply with work permit requirements.
The unions point to a particular recent case in which general cargoship Daroja, operated by Streamline Shipping, was used on a service between Aberdeen and Kirkwall, Orkney Islands.
The unions suggest that the crew members – a mix of Filipinos and Eastern Europeans – should be covered by work permit requirements, with the employer having to demonstrate that they have satisfied the labour market test by advertising the jobs locally at the domestic rate of pay for such jobs.
Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson says the union “does not believe that the jobs onboard Daroja were advertised in this way – if they had been, then there certainly would have been locally-based well qualified applicants”, and has requested an investigation by the UK Border Agency and clarification on the legal position from the government.
He continues: “These are important issues for a maritime nation. We should not allow seafarers serving on ships around our coastline to receive second-class treatment or enable shipping companies to receive an unfair competitive advantage by ignoring the rules.”
There was no one available to comment at Streamline Shipping.