The union representing rail, maritime and transport workers have been holding protests today, calling for the sacking of Condor and demanding fair employment practices on ferries to the Channel Islands.
The service provider, which is currently contracted by the Jersey and Guernsey governments, operate essential services from Portsmouth and Poole to the islands.
Members of the RMT union are demanding an end to what they call ‘poverty wages’ on Condor’s ships.
Today’s protests have been held in Portsmouth.
Among the union’s requests. it wants the company to provide staff with a living wage of £9.75 per hour.
In response Condor has said the RMT’s comments in relation to staff pay is ‘totally inaccurate.’
They say that they fully comply with domestic and international employment policies, including the minimum wage regulations set in the islands.
We reject the following accusations raised by the RMT – that Condor Ferries pays ‘poverty wages’ or ‘exploits’ our seafarers of any nationality. In addition, Condor is absolutely not ‘paid or subsidised by the CI authorities’ to operate our services, and our shareholder does not ‘extract’ a management fee from the company.
– Condor Ferries’ spokesperson
But the General Secretary of the RMT union has said they need to improve how they treat staff and operate their service.
In addition to disgracefully low wages, 81% of Channel Islanders in 2016 were dissatisfied with Condor Ferries, the result of rising fares, safety incidents, service cancellations, delayed freight supplies and exploitative employment practices.
– RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash
Today’s protests come after a previous demonstration held in December. Condor has operated for over 70 years to the Channel Islands with lifeline freight and passenger ferry services on a daily basis.