Categories: Business, Cairnryan, Dover, Hull, Larne, LiverpoolPublished On: 17.03.2022376 words1.9 min read

P&O cancels services with 800 workers fired

P&O Ferries has fired 800 seafaring staff with immediate effect, but some crew are defying orders and refusing to leave their ships in protest.

Image: PRESS ASSOCIATION

P&O Ferries are currently suspended

Workers are understood to have been told the news on zoom. The ferry firm said the “tough decision” was made to secure the future of the business.

Union RMT said crewmembers were being replaced with foreign labour.

P&O has said that its services will not operate for the “next few days”, with passengers told to use other companies.

P&O said its survival was dependent on “making swift and significant changes now”.

“In its current state, P&O Ferries is not a viable business. We have made a £100m loss year on year, which has been covered by our parent DP World. This is not sustainable. Without these changes there is no future for P&O Ferries.”

Private security officers have been sent onto one ship docked at Larne Harbour in Northern Ireland, to remove staff on board, according to the RMT.

Gary Jackson, a fulltime officer onboard the Pride of Hull said crew were informed they had lost their jobs through a pre-recorded Zoom message at 11am and had not received anything in writing from the company.

“We’ve still not received any detail further on what they will offer. We can see from the ship two vans, one with agency staff and the other with what we believe are security staff to remove us…and that’s why the captain here lifted the gangway”.

P&O services scheduled for Monday include 14 between Dover and Calais, three between Liverpool and Dublin and seven between Larne in County Antrim and Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway.

The union said it has instructed members to stay on board their vessels once they have docked or risk being “locked out” of their jobs.

“We are digging in for the long-haul. We are determined to fight,” RMT spokesperson Geoff Martin said.

A seafaring P&O employee told the BBC his colleagues onboard have refused to disembark and are instead “in their cabins refusing to work”. . . . .

 . . . . continue reading on the BBC website here

P&O cancels services with 800 workers fired