Support our shipyards, protect our seafarers

10 Sep 2019

Prospect delegates stood in solidarity with transport unions representing seafarers at the Trades Union Congress in Brighton.

Prospect rep Ben Caile from the UK Hydrographic Office asked delegates to put themselves in the position of the UK seafarer in a dangerous part of the world facing threats from pirates and hostile foreign states.

These seafarers are often caught up in situations outside of their control but continue to face these risks in order to deliver essential resources to the UK.

Ben argued that in dangerous situations, “safety above all other considerations must be paramount”.

“If we want to keep these seafarers safe, we need to invest in more naval capacity such as new Type 31e frigates, which in turn will support workers in shipyards across the UK.

“Let’s support our navy and our shipbuilders. But above all, let’s guarantee protection for our excellent seafarers,” Ben concluded.

The motion called on:

  • the TUC to support unions with members operating in areas that have been designated “warlike zones” by the UK’s Warlike Operations Area Committee, and
  • to support any master who puts their crews’ safety first and carries out what they deem is appropriate to maintain safety
  • the government to increase naval support to all UK vessels and seafarers transiting through high-risk areas and
  • ensure a coherent response across departments to protect the safety of seafarers on UK ships.