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From its annual conference on the Isle of Man, maritime union RMT today welcomed a new Parliamentary challenge to end poverty pay on ships of shame who are paying seafarers as little as £1.50 an hour.
MPs will this week bring to Parliament's attention the scandal of seafarers working in UK waters being paid substantially less than the national minimum wage.

The exploitation is bad enough but it is in fact perfectly legal under a loophole in the Race Relations Act which allows non UK seafarers to paid rates below agreed UK levels and the and also a anomaly in the National Minimum Wage legislation which excludes non UK seafarers.
The loophole continues to exist despite years of indications from government that action will be taken.

MPs will be seeking to outlaw this discrimination by considering amendments to the government's Equality Bill and a delegation of MPs will be meeting Shipping Minister Paul Clark.

This week Labour MP Gwyn Prosser will table the following parliamentary motion saying MPs are:

"appalled that in the 21st century ships, including ferry services, which regularly trade on fixed routes between UK ports and between the UK and Europe are allowed to pay poverty wages substantially below the minimum wage to non-UK seafarers including as little as £1.50 hour and is dismayed that this super exploitation is legal as a result of the a loophole in the Race Relations Act which allows non UK seafarers to be paid rates below agreed UK levels and also due to the exemption of seafarers from the National Minimum Wage.."

Speaking from the RMT's AGM on the Isle of Man, Bob Crow RMT General Secretary said:

"It is time to outlaw the ships of shame. It is a national scandal that the employers are exploiting this loophole to deny seafarers a living wage and we are going to be working with MP's to stop this outrage which allows companies to wrap themselves in the respectability of the British flag while treating their workforce like slave labour.It is time for the government to act to end the super exploitation that is taking place in UK waters. "
James Mc
Site Admin
www.rovworld.com

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Ironically, it was the British that led the drive to free the the world from slavery. A slave wage is economic slavery.

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