RMT demands answers over Brexit ferry contracts

The RMT has demanded answers over the awarding of the government’s Brexit ferry contracts.

The union wants to know the terms and conditions of workers on the contracts, and to see the legal advice on the procurement process. The call comes as the Chair of the Transport Select Committee released correspondence that raises serious questions about the emergency award procedure of the work to Seaborne Freight and others.

The union has taken protests to the DfT and Ramsgate and Portsmouth ports demanding that the jobs on the new services go to British seafarers on proper, union-recognised wages and conditions.

To date there has been no response at all from Chris Grayling to the three key RMT demands: all ferries to be fully crewed up with UK ratings‎, recognition of UK trade unions and UK employment laws to be fully complied with.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “There is a growing scandal over the award of these Brexit ferry contracts and the behaviour to date of Chris Grayling suggests that he is orchestrating yet another stitch up of the British seafarers while ladling out public money to the likes of Seaborne Freight.

“The government have already refused to say whether they will abide with employment law such as paying the UK minimum wage on these publicly-funded services and now it seems there is a real case to answer that they have also  breached of procurement  law in the awarding of the contracts.

“This is a national disgrace that gets murkier by the day and the government now need to come clean and publish the legal advice they received around the awarding of these contracts.”

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