Protest in Portsmouth over overseas workers' ferry wages

Condor Ferries Condor said about 90% of its crew were recruited within the European Union

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A protest has been held outside a Portsmouth ferry port over the amount a firm pays some overseas crew members.

The RMT union says Condor Ferries pays Ukrainian staff £2.35 an hour for working on ferries between the UK and the Channel Islands and France.

Mick Cash of the RMT called the practice "modern day slavery on ships of shame".

Condor Ferries said its wages and conditions exceeded international standards.

Ships operating in international waters are exempt from UK minimum wage legislation.

The national minimum wage is £6.31 an hour, or £5.03 for 18 to 21-year-olds.

By contrast, the living wage is £8.80 an hour in London and £7.65 an hour in the rest of the UK.

In a statement Condor ferries said: "The pay, terms and conditions for all employees meet or exceed all the requirements of international employment regulations and worker protection.

"Those who are paid at the entry level earn around four times the national average wage in Ukraine."

All crew live on board during their 12-week working period.

The firm said its crew have free transport to and from Ukraine, medical and dental cover and all food and lodging with no deductions.

Condor Ferries operates out of the UK ports of Weymouth, Poole and Portsmouth.

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