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TUC unanimously backs Nautilus Fair Ferries campaign

18 October 2022

TUC Congress has unanimously backed Nautilus's Fair Ferries campaign, which was launched in response to the P&O Ferries sacking scandal earlier this year.

P&O Ferries unfairly and unlawfully terminated the employment of 786 British seafarers and replaced them with below-minimum wage agency crew. Nautilus is concerned that other employers could see these actions as an opportunity to act in a similar way, putting long-established collective bargaining agreements and statutory employment protections covering all workers across the UK into jeopardy.

The Fair Ferries Strategy seeks changes to ensure that the ferry sector does not find itself in the same situation again, including an industry-wide framework linking the right to operate a ferry service with union collective bargaining, an end to fire and rehire, and the creation of minimum wage corridors between the UK and neighbouring countries.

Mark Dickinson, general secretary of Nautilus International, said: 'This week we are calling on Congress to support our 'Fair Ferries' campaign to reverse the race to the bottom in pay and conditions for seafarers, which was turbo-charged by P&O Ferries.

'The events of March this year cannot be allowed to be repeated and we are urging the government to take forward the steps outlined in our Fair Ferries framework to create a true "level playing field" that encourages a race to the top, rather than a race to the bottom in employment standards. Given the strategic importance of our ferry services to an island nation, it is a goal worth fighting for.'

Nautilus head of international organising Garry Elliot spoke on behalf of Nautilus members on the composited motion at TUC Congress.

'Let’s remember the real people and real families affected that day,' he said. 'Longstanding employees, dedicated workers.

'Nautilus had a 60-year CBA with the company. Yet our members were sacked without notice or consultation. Within 10 minutes that was gone. We need to ensure this can never happen again.'

To view a recoding of the motion visit the Nautilus YouTube channel.


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