Nautilus International (NI), the union for maritime professionals, has welcomed Carnival UK’s commitment to withdraw a threat of ‘fire and rehire’ for 919 senior crew members.
On 22nd November, NI received a copy of the HR1 form Carnival UK sent to the UK Insolvency Service, which stated: “Dismissal and re-engagement may be considered if agreement cannot be reached on new terms.”
Following urgent discussions between the union and Carnival UK, the company agreed to withdraw the threat.
Carnival also said that it will be informing the Insolvency Service and Bermudian authorities of the HR1 form withdrawal and clarified to NI that “[Their] intention from the outset was that there would be no dismissal and re-engagement or redundancies. [They] can now categorically confirm that this will be the case.”
Commenting on the latest developments, NI Executive Officer, Martyn Gray, said: “This is a welcome move from Carnival UK and a positive indication of their commitment to engage in a meaningful consultation with us over changes to members’ terms and conditions.
“We thank them for their commitment to not dismiss and re-engage and look forward to working with them to come to a negotiated settlement in the interests of all parties.
“However, fire and rehire or dismissal and re-engagement, should never be an option for any employer to force changes to terms and conditions and the UK government should commit to outlawing this, a statutory code of practice is not enough,” he said.
Fleet Management Services Bermuda, who employ seafarers for Carnival UK’s based operations, had threatened 919 crew with ‘fire and rehire’ at the start of a consultation process on changes to their employment terms and conditions.
The statutory notification (HR1 document) was sent to the UK insolvency service by Fleet Management Services (Carnival UK) on 15th November.
Carnival’s proposals could have lead to some of the crew losing up to 20% of their annual take home pay, as part of plans to cut working rotations.
The Carnival Corp subsidiary had notified the UK and Bermudian authorities of its intention to change employment T&Cs for the crew across 10 of its current UK and Bermuda flagged fleet.
Crew affected are primarily employed on vessels linked to Carnival’s British brands, P&O Cruises (seven ships) and Cunard (three ships).
Under UK law, employers are required to notify the Secretary of State of planned redundancies of over 20 persons at least 30/45 days in advance.
They are further required to enter into ‘meaningful consultation’ with recognised trade unions in changes to contractual terms and consultations.
Later in a joint statement, NI and Carnival UK said that following joint discussions, both parties were committed to engaging in meaningful consultation in finding a way forward following the start of consultations on proposed contractual changes for 919 maritime professionals.
Both NI and Carnival UK said that they were working co-operatively towards a negotiated settlement in the interest of all parties.