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  • Farstad "redundancies"

    I see Farstad have made 65 officers and ratings "redundant", and are intending to replace them with cheap labour from the Far East. Surely if they are going to hire in new people by definition the jobs still exist and therefore they can't be made redundant? Not good anyway. Glad I'm in the pax sector at the moment, things seem to be alright our end.

    https://www.nautilusint.org/en/what-...the-north-sea/

  • #2
    Sickening to hear that! Being from Aberdeen myself, I know personally of many of my friends and family being made redundant, but this just hits an all time low! I don't know why companies can get away with such a thing! Every officer is trained to a minimum professional standard so whether you are british, eastern european or asian, where you come from shouldn't determine how much you should get paid in comparison to others
    Unlimited Class III/1 Engineer Officer of the Watch

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    • #3
      the difference in pay has nothing to do with standards (ideally) but more to do with the living cost from your home nation. I sailed with a junior officer who had a bosun moan about how much more Europeans were getting paid. but then continued to explain how he had built himself a house for large extended family for about $40,000 in his last leave.

      It does seem wrong that you can make someone redundant but keep the job and re employ new staff, certainly couldn't get away with that shoreside
      you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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      • #4
        I was made redundant from Sea Containers. We were discharged in Rotterdam and told the ship was having some work done by a shoreside gang and we'd be rejoining the following week. We paid off in the morning and it was back off down the Channel 3 hours later with Indian officers and crew.
        io parlo morse

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        • #5
          Is the same sort of thing happening now in the offshore sector as happened 20-30 odd years ago in the general cargo sector? Obviously way before my time but it seems that back in the 80s and before there was loads of British crew working on bulkers, containers etc. From what I can see they mostly (with some exceptions) ended up getting replaced with cheaper labour.

          Are we now at the point where due to the oil price the same thing is going to happen offshore and when the oil price recovers (as I'm sure it will at some point) and the industry is awash with cash once again they companies will just stick with the cheaper labour because well... its cheap? I mean I can't see them making all their cheap labour redundant in 5 years time to hire Brits on twice the money you know?

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          • #6
            We were made redundant to save money but that was Sea Containers specific rather than a general thing. After them I worked for Fyffes on banana boats and P&O Bulk on tankers, gas boats and OBOs and they were all British officers and occasionally British crew too. That was 1980 to 1985.
            io parlo morse

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            • #7
              The Union being up to speed https://www.nautilusint.org/en/what-...the-north-sea/
              you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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              • #8
                Britain is run by a group of self serving tossers who are now fully detached as a class and totally unanswerable to their own people. We are probably living under one of the most despised groups of politicians in the history of this nation. It is a fact that we have been slowly, and continuously, sold out both politically and economically for decades. The culprits of this, our older generation, have largely benefited from this historic sell off and plan to retire and leave the next generation to bear the full brunt.

                Other nations (just to name a few): America, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Vietnam, Argentina, Angola have some sort of cabotage in their coastal shipping and offshore sectors relating to crewing, vessel construction, vessel management and ownership. Don't believe me? Well here is just one example:

                http://www.acas-law.com/assets/shipp...e-industry.pdf

                Why do we not do the same? Because we are now a stupid country - as we have been directed to be by the political elite. The British seafarers union, mentioned above, is essentially impotent and cannot do anything about this. Just watch.

                A large increase in 'manning agencies', 'ship management agencies' and their swathes of highly skilled 'consultants' have also contributed to the slow but relentless outsourcing of maritime crewing to peasant states on the Eastern periphery of Europe and Asia. If this process is allowed to continue unchecked I cannot see any logical reason why the passenger sector is immune. The pressure on wages has already started in many of the less prestigious operators.

                Would you allow a truck which is foreign owned, foreign regulated with a foreign number plate and with a foreign driver on third world rates of pay to operate within the Uk? No. So why is the maritime sector any different? If Farstad decide to implement this policy they should be banned from operating in the Uk.

                It is about time we remembered to stick up for ourselves again. If you disagree come up with a better solution.

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                • #9
                  Because nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of the Great Machine of Business and it's Holy Quest For Increasing Profit. Gods forbid you actually pay all your employees fairly or reinvest that profit in the business to make it better, no, that money would be better spent lining your own pocket. Why is the entire business world so concerned with growth? Would it not be better to have a stable (flat line or small growth) economy with lots of people employed and spending their wages instead of this ridiculous boom and bust thing we have going on where a small minority hoard the majority of the money and then blame the general working populace for their failings?

                  Size4riggerboots

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WesternStar View Post

                    Would you allow a truck which is foreign owned, foreign regulated with a foreign number plate and with a foreign driver on third world rates of pay to operate within the Uk? No. So why is the maritime sector any different?
                    The average rate of pay for a Polish truck driver driving an artic around Europe (including the UK) is £600 a month before tax.
                    io parlo morse

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by endure View Post
                      The average rate of pay for a Polish truck driver driving an artic around Europe (including the UK) is £600 a month before tax.
                      A foreign operator is restricted in transporting goods between locations in the Uk unless they have Uk registered vehicles and hold a valid Uk operators license.

                      https://app.justis.com/case/romantie.../c4KtnWCdm1Wca

                      As for the terrible rates of pay - We can thank the EU for this.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WesternStar View Post

                        As for the terrible rates of pay - We can thank the EU for this.
                        Could you elaborate on this a bit for me please? I'm on the fence about the EU referendum at the moment and want to hear as many fact based views as I can before I make a choice - at the moment I've got a fair few friends posting stuff on fb about what the EU has done for us that's positive, and most of the people who want out make vague statements about patriotism, controlling our borders and not being told what to do by europe... I'd like to see some information, not from biased news sources or propaganda from the two sides but some balanced rational analysis - got any good links?

                        Size4riggerboots

                        Moderator
                        Blog tWitterings Flickr Tumblr Faceache

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by size4riggerboots View Post
                          Could you elaborate on this a bit for me please? I'm on the fence about the EU referendum at the moment and want to hear as many fact based views as I can before I make a choice - at the moment I've got a fair few friends posting stuff on fb about what the EU has done for us that's positive, and most of the people who want out make vague statements about patriotism, controlling our borders and not being told what to do by europe... I'd like to see some information, not from biased news sources or propaganda from the two sides but some balanced rational analysis - got any good links?
                          A surplus of labour puts downward pressure on wages and standards of living.

                          The European Union forces us to:

                          1) Accept surplus labour with virtually no controls or limits (Article 45)

                          2) Recognise inferior and cheap European qualifications further contributing to the surplus (Directive 2005/36/EC)

                          The ultimate aim is to create a 'United States of Europe' with a federal parliament (Brussels) in which Britain will be the equivalent of Washington State.

                          What you have seen happen in international shipping (STCW) is what the leaders of the European Union wish to happen within this nation to all professions. The results are fairly predictable.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WesternStar View Post
                            A large increase in 'manning agencies', 'ship management agencies' and their swathes of highly skilled 'consultants' have also contributed to the slow but relentless outsourcing of maritime crewing to peasant states on the Eastern periphery of Europe and Asia.
                            Just a small point but there is a reason why there are Manning Agencies and Ship Management Companies came in to existence and it's not always a bad one. There is good and bad on both sides, neither are the devil.

                            Manning agencies are just the maritime version of a recruitment agency. They are no different than any of the ones that operate within the UK like Faststream, Spinnaker, Matchtech, Clyde Marine, Seamariner, Reed Rains, Consortio, etc, etc. They exist in all industries in one guise or another and tend to recruit both locally and internationally.

                            Ship Management Companies are not inherently evil and do not exist to drive the standards down. In fact, some of the larger operators will have higher standards/requirements than some of the Owner/Managers because it's their service and they have to sell it. A lot of vessel's are now operated by ship managers simply because there are very few traditional ship owners in existence any more, particularly after the big crash in the 80's. A lot of ships these days are actually owned by pension funds and banks (there is a lot of distressed tonnage out there), entities that have no experience or knowledge in how to operate a vessel so therefore outsource it to the people who do. Some Owner's outsource their management so that the vessel can actually trade and that can be for a variety of reasons depending on the vessel type, trade, etc. Don't get me wrong, there are some seriously dodgy operators out there, but they tend to be the smaller SM outfits with the smaller and dodgier clients (and generally not in the UK).

                            To focus on Farstad for the minute, I've been looking through their Q4 reports for 2015 and f*ck me is their business looking grim right now! Focussing on the N.Europe stats for the moment, their operating income for these vessels has dropped by almost half in a year, the value of their entire fleet has dropped by around 16% in one year (from 2012 to 2014 it was around 3-5% per year) and I don't even know how best to describe the drop in their company's share price over the last two years but that is one hell of a free-fall! Looking at some of their benchmarking stuff for supply/demand, there is a really large supply of vessels in an area where there is a much lower demand which means that spot charter rates have dropped massively which means that their vessel utilisation and operating income for that region has taken an absolute hammering. To be totally honest, I would suspect that they're going to pull out of N.Europe completely or massively reduce the number of vessels they have in the region by either re-deploying them elsewhere or just put a load of them into a cold lay-up for a few years. It doesn't mean the redundancies are right, but they seem to be happening at all levels within the company as they've shut down their Aberdeen Office, sold off their older tonnage and even been making redundancies in their Norwegian Office (26 out of 240).

                            However, I'd be very interested to see exactly what the emails the Union have actually say and what Farstad's actual plans are before I start protesting outside their office....
                            I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                            All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                              Just a small point but there is a reason why there are Manning Agencies and Ship Management Companies came in to existence and it's not always a bad one. There is good and bad on both sides, neither are the devil.
                              Are you arguing that the outsourcing of crewing via 'agencies' to Eastern Europe and Asia has not been detrimental to the employment and conditions of UK seafarers?

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