View Full Version : How is this legal?

Contact Approach
1st May 2012, 01:11
How does this company get away with treating staff like this? And how is this company exempt from paying it's staff minimum wage?

P&O cruise ship staff paid basic salary of 75p an hour | Business | The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/apr/29/cruise-firm-performance-bonuses-tips)

Milo Minderbinder
1st May 2012, 01:37
The ships are not registered in Britain
Carnival is a USA company
The crew mainly come from India

Whats it got to do with the UK?

1st May 2012, 01:48
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.

Milo Minderbinder
1st May 2012, 01:58

Precisely correct

Airborne Aircrew
1st May 2012, 02:12
Here we go...

Another lily-livered, left wing, do gooder that completely misunderstands the way the world is and how it works...

Contact... You are depressingly un-worldly... Get out of your semi-detached utopia and find out what the world is really like... Please.

1st May 2012, 03:14
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.

Krystal n chips
1st May 2012, 05:47
" Here we go...

Another lily-livered, left wing, do gooder that completely misunderstands the way the world is and how it works..."

:hmm: 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.

Victor Inox
1st May 2012, 08:28
Have you ever wondered how many companies in the UK do not pay the legal minimum wage?

Just think of how cheap certain ethnic take-away food is.

The Heff
1st May 2012, 09:12
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?

1st May 2012, 09:22
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 ?


1st May 2012, 09:24
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.

Victor Inox
1st May 2012, 09:34
Tips are often a minefield - also in restaurants.

It is not uncommon to see the "service charge" levied on restaurant bills going straight to the owner - and not the waiting/kitchen staff (as your average punter would expect).

Likewise, restaurant owners have been known to pocket any amount filled in by hand as "tips" by guests on credit card slips.

The only way to make sure that the recipient is the one of your choice is to hand over cash personally.

green granite
1st May 2012, 09:35
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

1st May 2012, 10:29
Krugman: Ricardo's Difficult Idea (http://web.mit.edu/krugman/www/ricardo.htm)

1st May 2012, 11:13
OK Basil, see Tim Worstall here explain the same principle. it's in relation to Apple in China, but it's the same principle with regards the wages paid on board vs the wages they'd earn at home.

The Apple Boycott: People Are Spouting Nonsense about Chinese Manufacturing (http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/01/29/the-apple-boycott-people-are-spouting-nonsense-about-chinese-manufacturing/)

Ancient Mariner
1st May 2012, 14:02
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.

1st May 2012, 14:30
From the Miami Herald, following the $400 million loss for the Concordia: Carnivalís profits should still approach $1.5 billion by December. Thatís thanks to a projected $15 billion in 2012

A margin of more than 10%. Surely they don't need to be stealing tips.

Others stealing from their employees doesn't make it right.

1st May 2012, 19:05
A margin of more than 10%. Surely they don't need to be stealing tips. The government started it. (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/helpsheets/e24.pdf)....

1st May 2012, 20:43
The government started it. (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/helpsheets/e24.pdf)....
I'm not so certain of that. Taxing income, including income from gratuities, is what governments do.

What big cruise line companies do, after stealing tips, is to not pay tax - because they are domiciled in Panama and their ships are all flying false flags.

C'est pas la mÍme chose!

Edited to add: It would seem to me that there is a win-win situation possible here. If you give your room steward a 100% rating and leave no tip, s/he will get more if you give them a 85% rating and a big tip. Not if everyone does that, but ...

2nd May 2012, 09:09
@ Basil

p.s. I started off earning £1-7/6d a week (£1.87Ĺ)

Basil you do your credibility no good by getting such simple (:E ) conversions wrong. Or is it a double-bluff to make us think you are really younger than you make out ?

@ Ancient Mariner

is OK to register the ships under flags of convenience and hire the cheapest crew available.

Well it is legal and I don't see how you can stop it .

Ancient Mariner
2nd May 2012, 10:14
I know it is legal, and I know I cannot stop it, there is a good reason why I am ex-Merchant Navy. I just wondered if it was OK with you guys.

2nd May 2012, 22:20
Milo Minderbinder,

Carnival is as British as it is American. It's a dual listed company.

Carnival Corporation and Plc is based at Carnival House in Southampton and Carnival Place in Miami.

They are the largest cruise line in the world and own a whole host of companies.

3rd May 2012, 09:13
Does anyone know which circle of hell is occupied by cruise ships?

And people actually pay money to go on cruises? I'd need to be press-ganged :eek:

7th May 2012, 21:01
Nowadays, buy a loaf of decent bread and a couple of pints of milk and that's your week's wages gone.

One of the most depressing things you can do is stand in the supermarket mentally converting prices back. That little cake is ten shillings ! http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/eek.gif etc..

8th May 2012, 00:36
Funny that, I don't see anything in the article about these people being forced to work under these conditions. Can anyone point out how P & O make them stay in the jobs despite obviously not wishing to work for that pay?

Solid Rust Twotter
8th May 2012, 06:23
Chain them to the oars?

8th May 2012, 09:12
Funny that, I don't see anything in the article about these people being forced to work under these conditions. Can anyone point out how P & O make them stay in the jobs despite obviously not wishing to work for that pay?

This isn't a question about whether they agreed to work under these conditions (as if they had any choice) it's about the cruise line soliciting gratuities (there is even a special brochure in the room), implying (although not specifically stating) that such tip would go to the cabin staff.

Wiki:A tip (also called a gratuity) is a sum of money tendered to certain service sector workers for a service performed or anticipated. Such payments and their size are a matter of social custom. Tipping varies among cultures and by service industry. Though a tip is seldom required, and its amount is usually at the discretion of the patron being served, in some circumstances failing to give an adequate tip when one is expected is a serious faux pas, and may be considered very miserly, a violation of etiquette, or unethical.

In Switzerland most service industries add a 15% service charge (included in the price) which are shared among the employees. If you add something extra (rounding up to the next franc) that tip goes to the person you are giving it to.

When I read the tipping brochure on my one and only cruise I read it to mean that the tips went to the room steward. I can recall nothing that suggested they were shared with any other staff including the officers. It probably wasn't specific but it gave me the wrong impression.

The newspaper article suggests that these tips are taken from the stewards and distributed to others, including the officers. Doing so, without saying they will, is unethical. It's my money and I should choose who gets it. I would have tipped lower if I knew the officers would share in it.

As I said; should I ever cruise again I will give no tip, but I will give my stewards a 100% rating, if they deserve it.

9th May 2012, 16:51

"Nowadays, buy a loaf of decent bread and a couple of pints of
milk and that's your week's wages gone..."

What? You only earn £2.29 a week?

Poor sod.

9th May 2012, 16:56
The Memsahib makes our bread herself.

And very nice it is too !!!!

9th May 2012, 16:59
The Memsahib?

Are you for real?