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Part of Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 6:35 pm on 17th March 1997.

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Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Chair, Administration Committee 6:35 pm, 17th March 1997

I speak in support of the new clause. My father was a merchant seaman. He served as a stoker in the merchant navy from 1936 until his retirement in the 1960s. He was torpedoed on three occasions during the war. A seaman's occupation affects his family directly. When my father complained about safety at sea, he was disciplined and the family lost wages. A seaman at sea is under maritime regulation and can be disciplined differently from a worker on land, who can complain about health and safety with no repercussions. At sea, it is impractical for a complainant to step off the boat. Seamen who have spoken up about safety have been dismissed and left at the next port.