RMT union to protest at Portsmouth port

DEMO Bob Crow
DEMO Bob Crow
Arrival of new aircraft carrier 
HMS Queen Elizabeth at Portsmouth Naval 
Base.

Picture: Neil Marshall

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SHIPPING union RMT will demonstrate in Portsmouth to protest against the exploitation of oversees workers.

It will take place on Saturday at Portsmouth International Port at 7.45am with specific aim of targeting Condor Ferries.

There will also be an earlier protest on Friday at midday in Platform Road, Southampton.

The RMT union said it is trying to highlight that the Channel Island ferry operator was using legal loopholes to pay Ukranian crew just £2.35 an hour.

Condor has admitted some of its crew were paid that amount but said they earned four times the average wage in Ukraine.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: ‘The super-exploitation of foreign nationals in the British shipping industry is a massive scandal that the political elite want to keep quiet.

‘That’s no surprise as it’s their wealthy mates running the shipping companies who benefit from this scam that dodges normal employment regulations while the European Union turns a blind eye.’

Condor Ferries managing director Ken Soar has previously said he respects the right of members to protest.

He added: ‘Condor Ferries is a diligent and concerned employer and we take care that all our employees are trained to the highest standards, work in safe conditions and receive competitive wages.

‘A small minority of crew who live aboard our conventional freight ferries are recruited from Ukraine.’

He added that the low rate of pay referred to by the RMT only applies to ‘entry level crew members’.