Tuesday, April 14, 2015

With Zero Hours in the Spotlight 100 Jobs on RoRo Freight and Passenger Ferries Switch to Full Time

Union and Shipping Group Negotiate Another Hundred Staff Off Controversial Contracts
Shipping News Feature

UK – As it made very clear with a submission to the BIS Consultation on Zero-Hours Employment Contracts in March last year the RMT Union is unsurprisingly set against zero hours contracts for any employees, particularly those engaged in the rail and maritime offshore sectors where many of its 80,000 members are employed. Now, in cooperation with P&O Ferries the union’s Dover branch has secured 100 full time contracts for P&O on board service ratings working on the short sea RoRo freight and passenger route between Dover and Calais.

The RMT believes zero hours contracts are bad both for workers and employers and this new deal will give the hundred staff a salary of just under £17,000 with an additional £500 in increments over the next 5 years as well as additional sickness benefits and paid leave. This latest milestone means that RMT Dover has negotiated 137 ratings moving on to full time contracts and off of zero hours during 2015.The union will now continue to take the campaign forwards and has made it clear that is committed to continuing the fight against these contracts across the rail, maritime and transport industries as a whole. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“It is a tribute to the hard and persistent work of RMT’s Dover Shipping Branch and the Port Committee that a hundred more staff on the Dover Calais route will be lifted out of the uncertainty and insecurity of zero hours contracts and onto permanent agreements with a host of other benefits.

“With zero hours contracts centre stage during this election RMT has proved once again that if you want security, decent pay and decent conditions you need to join a strong trade union that will stand up and fight for you. It is also important to note that P&O have recognised the benefits to themselves as an employer of taking a more progressive and supportive approach to their workers.

"RMT has been against zero hours contracts from the beginning and it is a top priority of both our Dover Shipping Branch and the union as a whole to keep the pressure on the companies that we deal with to eradicate these contracts within the industries where we organise."

The new jobs will provide permanent contracts to 100 people this year, with priority being given to those who currently work for P&O Ferries, many of whom may be working on a zero-hours contract at the moment. A spokesman for P&O Ferries said:

“This is a positive move for the company and a great opportunity to secure permanent contracts for some of our on board services crew who want more certainty and stability over the hours they work. The jobs will then be advertised externally offering employment opportunities in the local community.”