New York Times - Ships and Shipping

Monday, 1 October 2012

Cruise ship staff 'paid £1.30 an hour'

The cruise industry has defended its employment policies after an investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches highlighted low wages and long working hours.

Cruise lines defend low wages paid to staff

Cruise staff claimed they are required to work seven days a week for months on end  Photo: ALAMY

The programme’s producers arranged for an undercover reporter to spend five weeks working on board the cruise ship Celebrity Eclipse, operated by Celebrity Cruises.
Its investigation revealed that many members of staff receive less than half the UK national minimum wage (£6.19 an hour), with some of the lowest paid workers earning just $600 per month, the equivalent of around £1.30 an hour, and no gratuities.
Members of staff also claimed they are required to work seven days a week for months on end without rest days, while others allege that they were forced to pay expensive fees to recruitment agencies to obtain their job.
Over the five weeks, the reporter’s earnings averaged £2.24 per hour, and he was asked to work 16 hours a day. His earnings were less than he had been promised by the British recruitment agency that found him the job, and he was forced to pay £570 out of his own pocket for uniform, a compulsory medical and a visa.
Source: The Daily Telegraph, UK.

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