Seafarers from across Europe descended on Aberdeen today to pay their respects to fallen colleagues and demand an end to the exploitation of crews servicing oil and gas fields in the North Sea.
Maritime union members from Britain, Norway and Denmark joined a sombre ceremony at the city's Seafarers memorial before touring the harbour to talk to workers about their treatment.
The International Federation of Transport Workers event underlined maritime unions' fears over the rising number of vessels registered by owners under so-called flags of convenience in countries with dire labour laws.
Unions warn that this has forced down pay and led to long hours and unsafe conditions for workers.
Crew members from countries such as Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and Philippines are increasingly been hired to operate vessels on rock-bottom wages.
RMT national secretary Steve Todd said that his union, along with others in Europe, was determined to make progress on the issue.
"We have evidence of Indian-flagged vessels employing Indian seafarers where they are been paid 500 dollars a month," he told the Star.
"That equals around a pound an hour and in some cases less."
He said that other European seafarers were being forced out of the industry because of low pay.
"We have to put pressure on the gas companies to get this stopped - and put pressure on the immigration service in how they issue work permits."
A spokesman for fellow maritime union Nautilus demanded regulations "to stabilise the EU maritime industry and to create a sustainable future.
"We have to prevent social dumping of low-cost labour and stop the race to the bottom that is fuelled by the constant pressure to cut costs," he said.