I think the crux of the matter is that these are not British people employed in Britain. They are hired in places like India where the average wage is much less than the British minimum wage, and, especially as they enjoy free board and lodging including food it is a better deal than they could expect in their homeland. In addition there is opportunity for advancement, something not available back home and a standard of living beyond that which they leave behind.
You have to forget Western wages as these are irrelevant, merely compare their salaries to what they could command ashore in India.
Furthermore, if they paid their staff British minimum wage, their holidays would be so expensive they would be out of business in a flash. The Indians would have no jobs, and all because your fellow citizens would be travelling with even less reputable companies who charged less, because they put price above principles.
It's not very different from the drug trade. If there were no demand, then there would be no supply.
Location: A civilised little County..with a bit of eccentricity to boot
" Here we go...
Another lily-livered, left wing, do gooder that completely misunderstands the way the world is and how it works..."
Really?....Do I take then that, if your own T's and C's were suddenly and radically changed, there would not be a peep from you...merely acquienscent acceptance as this being "the way of the world"....because strangely enough, I get the impression there would be more whining than a Pegasus produces...
Have you, I wonder, read the article in full....if so, there is a very telling indicator of the arrogance of the management ....notably the bit about electronic tipping and hence an extra charge to the customer...and the comment about customers being unwilling ( how strange!) to pay more.
In fact, the whole of the explanation offers a disturbing insight as to the management practices and idealogy....more so than was intended I suspect.
The issue of pay parity / disparity is hardly unique to this sector however, it's also rather prevalent in the UK and getting worse.
Have you ever worked for the UK minimum wage I wonder?....I have, albeit briefly thankfully. If you had, you may understand why rational people feel compelled to highlight the issue......there again....this may be stretching the bounds of credulity somewhat.
The article is a bit misleading, because it only focuses on one department within the cruise ship - the stewards, who are usually paid less than seamen anyway.
Its very rare for a merchant ship to employ British ratings, generally because foreign staff are cheaper and have lower expectations of their employer. In a global marketplace, who can blame the British companies for exploiting this?
One has, through work, worked for 2 separate weeks aboard 2 different large cruise liners and because of not being a passenger, experienced and got to see how the ships and their crews worked/existed/lived and so on. The waiting and cleaning staff, although paid a pittance were invariably rewarded at the end of each week with a sizeable cash gratuity from the passengers that IMHO was pretty good and when taken back to their home lands went much further. They were mostly young and happy to see the world (a bit) and earn hard money. The ones that I felt for were the engineering cadre who spent 95% of the week below the waterline in uncomfortable conditions and only came out once a week for the staff football match! Yet they too seemed happy with their lot.
As has been said, whilst not so nice for those with a social conscience, without such low base wages the economics of operating would not be viable, at least that is at present day cruise prices and those huge ships get through a massive amount of oil which has been going steadily up in price these last years. I wonder what will happen in a few years when the wage aspirations of all the low paid workers won't allow such jobs to be filled ?
Disturbing. If I read this correctly the 'tip' I left on our cruise last August was taken away and distributed to (I assume) crew and service staff as 'bonuses'.
So if I leave a large tip because our room steward did an excellent job, the Captain is rewarded?
I found the non-British service staff to be excellent and I'm not surprised they get ratings exceeding 90%. However I found the British, particularly the British officers to be pompous, full of themselves and arrogant. The first officer, in particular, was a real jerk. The only tip I would have given him would be to buy a bridge in Brooklyn.
You need to look at the national average wage of the countries they come from, for example: Average Indian weekly pay for a professional dental assistant is $21.50/weekly. For farmer it is less than $7.50/weekly. In the Philippines, for a hotel worker $ 133 a week
Dubai years ago: Afternoon tea in top international hotel. Bill applies 15% service charge. Payslip asks if I wish to tip. I ask to speak to duty manager and ask why? Manager says: "Oh sir,15% of takings is very large sum." I agree "Management is only giving 20% of this to staff." (So that's 3% to staff). Had I been in UK where I know the rules, I'd have refused to pay the 15% and tipped cash.
Even in UK, when elder daughter worked as waitress, the manager, lets call him Mr Kuntz, didn't dole out tips till closing time so ensuring that he got an hour or two free labour from staff who should have finished earlier.
Re the ships, as has been said, think local rates and remember: it's better than digging the road in the Middle East in midsummer. Watched an Asian expat do that one day and, although not given to overdoing the sorrow, I did think 'Poor sod!'
Thanks, ORAC. That covers a few points such as; artificially low currency, only in China do people top themselves, only in China is industry dangerous. Preaching to the converted. By the age of 20 I'd twice come very close to being killed in industry. We, in leafy Marlow have had suicides and people die in curious circumstances. Our UK£ is 25% down on a couple of years ago.
p.s. I started off earning £1-7/6d a week (£1.87Ĺ)
So to maintan reasonable prices on cruises, and since the oil prices are so high it is OK to register the ships under flags of convenience and hire the cheapest crew available. I wish they would do the same for aviation, it would save me and my company a bundle. Per