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Packet rival's crewmen on 'poverty pay' - claim

Unions representing hundreds of workers at the Steam Packet are stepping up their campaign to defend ferry operations, with a demonstration in Liverpool today (Tuesday).

Protesters want the Manx government to come up with a contingency plan if the company has to cut back its services, following the introdiction, by Ramsey-based Mezeron, of a rival daily freight service between Douglas and the city.

James Davis reports (text, below, from attached audio file):

Steam-Packet workers will lobby for intervention to protect local jobs and services.

At midday, trade unionists from across the city will converge on the Port of Liverpool building at Pier Head to demonstrate in support of the Steam Packet campaign, and against shipowners employing seafarers on rates below the minimum wage.

The RMT union claims attempts are being made to undermine the Steam Packet using vessels crewed by seafarers on 'poverty pay and appalling conditions'.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow will later join the workforce and fellow shipping union Nautilus in a 5pm meeting with Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne.

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