Cross-channel ferry operator Brittany Ferries welcomed progress of the Seafarers Wages Bill in parliament. The House of Lords’ bill which receives its second reading in the House of Commons today 19 December 2022, is designed to protect ferry workers from harmful “social dumping”. That means preventing situations where hard-working sailors are dumped by companies and replaced by cheaper foreign labour, with far weaker protection on working conditions including pay.
“We fully support this excellent measure introduced by the British government to prevent a race-to-the-bottom in our industry,” said Christophe Mathieu CEO Brittany Ferries. “It not only guarantees a minimum, fair wage for seafarers, but also introduces minimum requirements on working conditions. We must never forget the importance of these workers on both sides of the Channel. Covid has shown everyone that they are the vital cells that keep arteries flowing and trade moving across sea borders.”
Moves to boost seafarer rights in the UK are being mirrored in France. A parallel initiative, led by transport minister Hervé Berville in Paris, would see similar minimum standards imposed for companies operating from French Channel ports too.
Brittany Ferries operates from three ports in the UK, Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth. It serves five destinations in France and two in northern Spain carrying more than two million passengers and around 200,000 units of freight each year. All its seafarers are French and the company is proud to operate under the French-flag regulatory regime.