MPs line up to condemn P&O
Travellers have been warned they face days of disruption following P&O’s “appalling” decision to sack 800 seafarers, a move which left the Government “angry”.
Transport minister Robert Courts led the condemnation of the decision by the ferry operator, bought by Dubai-based logistics firm DP World in 2019, to replace the workers with cheaper agency staff.
Mr Courts told MPs that routes affected included Dover to Calais, Larne to Cairnryan, Dublin to Liverpool, and Hull to Rotterdam, but that “alternative provision” from other operators was being provided.
Labour compared the treatment of workers to the “action of thugs”.
Making an emergency statement to the House of Commons, Mr Courts said: “Reports of workers being given zero notice and escorted off their ships with immediate effect while being told cheaper alternatives would take up their roles shows the insensitive way in which P&O have approached this issue, a point I have made crystal clear to P&O’s management when I spoke to them earlier this afternoon.
“I am extremely concerned and frankly angry at the way workers have been treated by P&O.”
He added: “In taking this decision to make seafarers redundant, P&O have also today informed us they will be suspending services for approximately a week to 10 days while they locate new crew.”