UK’s RMT union’s representative is fuming against the owners of the Malaviya Seven offshore vessel, detained earlier this week in Aberdeen for not paying its crew, however, he acknowledges that the need for EU Continental Shelf cabotage arrangement is “long overdue.”
This is the second time the Indian-flagged vessel operating on the UK continental shelf has been detained for not paying its crew – also Indian – this year.
More precisely, it has been detained due to non-payment of crew wages, expired Seafarers Employment Agreement and no account of seafarers wages.
At the same time, its sister vessel Malaviya Twenty, owned by the same owner – India’s GOL Offshore – is in Great Yarmouth, detained in August for the similar reason.
Sharing his views on the matter with Offshore Energy Today, Jake Molloy, an RMT representative for offshore energy matters said: “It beggars belief that this vessel has once again been detained by the Port Authorities here in Aberdeen for the failure of the employers and agents to pay these poor unfortunate seafarers.”
The first time the Malaviya Seven was detained, the RMT blasted the owners for ‘slave-like’ conditions aboard the vessel. RMT then said that there have been reports that these “low-cost” seafarers earn rates of pay as low as £2 per hour – some 70% below the value of the National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour. That is, in case they get paid at all.
Working for oil majors
The Malaviya Seven has been on recent charter in the UK offshore sector with BP, Wood Group, Dana, and Premier Oil, meaning the vessel is working in and out of UK Ports and servicing the UK sector.
Commenting further, RMT’s Molloy said: “If these payments were in line with those enjoyed by some of the senior executives in the oil and gas industry we might be able to understand it. But the fact is these poor Indian nationals are paid at modern day slavery rates of pay, of just a few US dollars an hour and this is to service one of the richest industry sectors on the planet exploiting our natural resources! It is outrageous and is deplorable behavior from some of the biggest corporations in the world.”
Asked by Offshore Energy Today about what might be solution for this reccurring problem, Molloy said:
“The need for an EU Continental Shelf cabotage arrangement providing an EU minimum wage is long overdue. By applying such an arrangement, similar to those which exist in the US, Canada, Brazil, Australia and other regions, we could protect the jobs of EU Nationals whilst preventing this type of social dumping and exploitation. We could seek to ensure that if workers from other regions of the world did come to work in the EU region they would be protected and paid at standards we quite reasonably expect in most of EU society today.”
Offshore Energy Today Staff