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FERRIES union RMT has written to Dover’s Tory MP to seek an urgent meeting on the threat to local seafarer jobs.
In a letter to Natalie Elphicke, the union warned that Irish Ferries’ plans to operate passenger services to Calais from June with low-paid crews from eastern Europe will result in job losses.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash wrote: “The basic hourly rate of pay for an Ordinary Seaman on the Cypriot-registered MV Ulysses was €5.51 (£4.77) in November 2018 and we believe that this ‘low cost’ model is planned for the Dover-Calais route.
“[This would] effectively shut hundreds of seafarers out of jobs and further damage local businesses, just at the point passenger numbers recover.
“The last thing local seafarers need is an aggressive anti-trade union ferry operator like Irish Ferries that will undercut [other operators such as] P&O Ferries and DFDS.
“The [Tories are] very keen to talk about the ‘levelling up’ agenda. Irish Ferries’ arrival would unquestionably ‘level down’ jobs, pay, conditions and safety standards. This is completely unacceptable.”
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