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07 August 2022 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 20:43 GMT+2

July 8, 2022

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Original news
The bill has arrived in Parliament British to ensure the national minimum wage for seafarers

The rule would only apply to the time worked in the territorial waters of the United Kingdom. Perplexity of Nautilus International

Last Wednesday, the day before the resignation announced by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the government of London introduced in Parliament the bill on seafarers' minimum wage which was defined below P&O Ferries' decision to dismiss 800 seafarers, decision implemented in March, from one hour to the next, by the shipping company of the DP World group that had unleashed very heated protests by both trade unions and politicians, to starting with the Minister of Transport, Grant Shapps ( of 17 March 2022). The text of the bill, presented on Wednesday in the House of Lords, provides that seafarers embarked on ships which regularly serve UK ports, although carry out international services, cannot be paid beyond below the national minimum wage, but only relative to time of work spent in United Kingdom waters.

"A fair wage for seafarers - he underlined the Minister for Maritime Transport, Robert Courts, on the occasion of the presentation of the text to the House of Lords - represents a must and the new regulations that we have introduced today in Parliament send a clear signal to operators that the UK is not will allow seafarers to be excluded from their jobs by unworthy leaders. Following the shameful conduct of P&O Ferries - recalled Courts - in May 2022 the government had consultation launched on the draft law on the wages of Maritime. The answers, published today together with the introduction of the bill, show that the vast majority of respondents agreed that safeguarding wages must continue to be one of the main objectives for the sector. The Government spoke at length with industry representatives on how new safeguard laws can be quickly defined of seafarers' salaries and used the information and points of view to define the scope of the bill and the compliance policies. Ships and services calling at a stopover in UK ports on average at least every 72 hours, or more of 120 times a year - explained Courts - will fall within these new salary requirements and ports, coast and maritime guard and the Department of Transportation will all have a role in ensuring compliance'. Courts pointed out that in parallel is continuing the criminal and civil investigation into the circumstances of the dismissals made by P&O Ferries.

Last May the Association of British Ports had expressed its negative opinion on the Government's proposal for a assign ports the task of enforcing the provisions provided for by the bill, a task that is confirmed by the text introduced in Parliament and which would be shared by the Maritime and CoastGuard Agency and the Department of Transportation ( of 11 May 2022). Doubts about the effectiveness of the the provisions envisaged had also been manifested at that time by the Nautilus International trade union, which yesterday noted how the text presented presents loopholes that can frustrate the objectives of the standard: "Nautilus International - explained Martyn Gray, one of the union's leaders - welcomes the action promise on the minimum wage. However within the drawing of law there are loopholes that must be solved if you want significantly support the application of fair wages at sea. For example - Gray clarified - there are questions about the fact that the port authorities are the bodies appropriate to enforce the application of the minimum wage national for seafarers, as many ports are operated by the same companies that should be supervised. Based on bill, the authorities of the ports are not even required to request data from the services on seafarers' remuneration and this creates ambiguity and does not put pressure on anyone particular operator if they are not required to comply. In addition, services that operate less frequently from ports of the United Kingdom will not be covered by law. Despite this bill is a good start - Gray anticipated - we will put considerable pressure for the introduction of improvements man as it proceeds in Parliament. In addition, the government must act with decision to improve employee safeguards, such as provides for our Fair Ferries Strategy, if we want to prevent another job massacre like the one perpetrated by P&O Ferries'.

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