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Nautilus pushes to build back fairer at TUC Young Workers Conference

22 April 2022

A Nautilus motion to ensure young workers are at the heart of 'build back fairer' policies was unanimously passed at this year's Trades Union Congress (TUC) Young Workers Conference.

The Union received support for its motion; highlighting the lack of wellbeing support during Covid-19 and the extended impact on isolated workers, such as seafarers.

The conference acknowledged that the pandemic severely restricted access to shore leave for welfare purposes, repatriation, and that opportunities to access medical care ashore led to many young maritime professionals being stranded far from home having to work months over their agreed tours of duty with limited physical and mental health support.

The motion also urges unions to campaign to ensure recommendations from the UK Covid-19 Marmot Review into how the pandemic has affected health inequalities in England are implemented.

The UK review – produced by the UCL Institute of Health Equity and commissioned by the Health Foundation as part of its Covid-19 impact inquiry – highlighted the negative impacts on young workers through an increase in uncertain employment and limited welfare support.

Conference also agreed with the motion's call for support for 'young maritime professionals in seeking fair treatment by national governments and access to shore leave, medical care and repatriation when working abroad'.

Nautilus also spoke in favour and supported motions on the just transition to green technologies and ways of working. Stressing the need for green campaigning to take into account a range of measures to ensure a balanced transition from a carbon heavy society into a sustainable one whilst supporting maritime, and other carbon intensive sectors,  continued quality employment opportunities. The Union's main standpoint included the need to support alternative fuels, hybrid powertrains and low carbon national grid supply for 'cold ironing'.

Detailed insights into how well the motion was received and successful Nautilus participation were outlined at a recent Nautilus Equality and Diversity Forum meeting.

The motion

'This Conference:

Notes the findings from the COVID-19 Marmot Review highlighting the damage caused to young people’s wellbeing through Pandemic response measures; whilst also noting the poor state of health equity already present in England prior to the impacts of COVID-19.

Recognises the damage caused by widening social, economic, environmental and health inequalities in general, as well as those specific to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlights the impacts on young workers through increased employment precarity and limited welfare support.

Further notes that health inequality and access to wellbeing support also impacts isolated workers, such as seafarers, for whom the pandemic severely restricted access to shore-leave for welfare purposes, repatriation, and opportunities to access medical care ashore – with many young maritime professionals being stranded far from home having to work months over their agreed tours of duty with limited physical and mental health support.

Resolves to:
i. Campaign for the recommendations of the Marmot Review to Build Back Fairer for young people and widen and improve health equity and opportunities;
ii. Continue supporting young workers, especially those in precarious and atypical employment, in organising and campaigning for improvements to social, economic, environmental and health inequalities
iii. Support initiatives to increase opportunities for young workers to find quality employment and career opportunities;
iv. Encourage unions to enhance support and improve the mental and physical health and wellbeing of the young workers they represent and;
v. Support young maritime professionals in seeking fair treatment by national governments and access to shore leave, medical care and repatriation when working abroad.'


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