Members at work

General secretary takes pride in ship visits at P&O Ferries

17 September 2019

Nautilus International general secretary Mark Dickinson and Nautilus national ferry organiser Micky Smyth took part in several ship visits at P&O Ferries over the summer to meet colleagues and gauge the views of members.

The overwhelming consensus from members was a feeling of uncertainty and frustration created by politicians in Westminster and Brussels, and the fear that a 'No Brexit Deal' would potentially cause chaos at ports.

Mr Dickinson assured members that Nautilus was working tirelessly to ensure members' rights regardless of what form Brexit might take. The Union has lobbied government on jobs, pay and conditions post-Brexit since the referendum result in 2016, and continues to seek assurances from government and industry on seafarers' Certificates of Competence and frictionless trade.

From left: Micky Smyth, Mark Dickinson and ITF inspector Christian Roos onboard the Pride of Hull 

'It was an excellent couple of days and an opportunity to meet colleagues and gauge the views of members and we look forward to more ship visits, where possible, to meet as many maritime professionals working tirelessly to deliver an excellent service,' Mr Dickinson said.

Day one was an early start at P&O's Pride of York vessel in Hull, which was disembarking hundreds of foot passengers following an overnight sailing from Zeebrugge.

As it was predominantly a change-over day for many officers, Mr Dickinson and Mr Smyth met members whilst many of them handed over their watch.

On boarding the vessel, they met Christian Roos from AVC-Transcom, a long-time ITF Inspector. Mr Roos joined Union officials to meet P&O ratings who are covered by ITF Agreements on the Bahamian Flagged vessels Pride of York and Pride of Hull.

A visit to Pride of Hull followed where Union officials again met members and were invited for lunch by Captain Joop Loonstra.

Micky Smyth (left) and Mark Dickinson (right) visit the engine control room of the Pride of Rotterdam

Day two was another early start with a visit to Pride of Rotterdam, where officials were shown around the vessel by Captain Fred Jonkman including the engine control room to meet members who were busy carrying out maintenance duties.

Next stop was the Pride of Bruges, where officials again met numerous members, and had lunch with the ship's onboard services manager Hans Seven.

Mr Roos joined Pride of Rotterdam for the overnight sailing to Zeebrugge and, following his inspections and discussions with ratings on all vessels covered by the ITF agreements, he was able to declare a clean bill of health in relation to the correct salaries being paid to the seafarers covered by the ITF Agreement. This contradicts false claims that were published in social media and the local press over the past number of weeks.