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Wales TUC welcomes new law on minimum wage for seafarers
Wales TUC today welcomed the introduction of new legislation which will improve the pay for seafarers working on Welsh seas. The National Minimum Wage (Offshore Employment) (Amendment) Order 2020 extends National Minimum Wage (NMW) pay rates to cover all seafarers working on merchant ships between ports in Wales and the rest of the UK, including offshore energy installations (oil and gas, wind) in the Irish Sea.
Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj said:
“We welcome this new legislation which will improve protections for seafarers and boost employment rights for Ratings working on ships from ports in Wales, particularly in growth areas such as offshore renewables and coastal freight which are key to the successful delivery of a green economic recovery in our coastal communities.
“Enforcement must be effective so we will work with the Welsh Government to make sure that HMRC and other regulatory bodies have unfettered access to inspect merchant ships across Wales’ port network to clamp down on employers paying seafarers below domestic minimum wage rates – a common indicator of modern slavery.
“We also call on the UK Government to take further action to tackle low cost crewing on international routes, including from Holyhead and Pembroke where Irish Ferries continue to flout minimum wage law on both sides of the Irish Sea, undercutting legally compliant competitors like Stena Line and excluding Ratings and businesses in Wales from jobs and growth in the process.
“Wales TUC will continue to support trades unions’ plans for increasing training and jobs for seafarers in Wales, as re-building our maritime resilience after years of neglect, the onslaught of Coronavirus and the volatility of Brexit is an absolute priority.”
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