“Fire and don’t hire again”: P&O Ferries devastates its home port Business News

Thursday dawned cold but clear in Dover – a lovely calm morning to sail the short sea route to Calais. But 800 crew members were about to find their careers at P&O Ferries were over.

“We got an email that a big announcement was coming later today and we were told to be ready,” a steward told me when we met at the entrance to the docks .

What followed, at 11.10am, was a pre-recorded video of a P&O Ferries executive announcing their replacement, en masse, with cheaper labour.

“The company has decided going forward that its vessels will be primarily manned by third-party crew,” they were told.

“Therefore, I am sorry to inform you that this means your employment is being terminated with immediate effect for dismissal.

“Your last day of employment is today.”

The announcement, blunt and blunt, echoed through the company’s ports in Hull, Cairnryan, Larne and Liverpool. But Dover, where P&O Ferries is headquartered and has its main base, has been hardest hit.

Hundreds of families depend for their livelihood on jobs with the main ferry operator between Dover and Calais. The impact is all the more painful at a time of soaring energy prices and a bitter economic climate. But a sudden sacking, online, cuts even deeper for the sailors.

Ex-P&O and RMT staff block road to Port of Dover


Being part of a ship’s crew has little to do with working ashore. Many dismissed personnel have told me that working on board means living on board, with a degree of dedication and camaraderie rarely found ashore.

The people who work on the ferries have chosen a way of life. When they lose these jobs, they lose more than just wages: they lose their families on board.

‘Devastated’ was the word used more than any other Thursday in Dover – including by District Councilor Edward Biggs who described the effect on the town.

“We are all devastated by what happened. It’s the only industry Dover really has. People in town are obviously worried about their mortgages, how they’re going to pay the bills.

P&O Ferries ships are currently docked and all sailings have been canceled for the next few days

(PA wire)

As he spoke, a full moon rose over the port of Dover – now devoid of three giant ferries, which were moored in the harbor at the cruise terminal.

The shipowner, meanwhile, seems deaf to the havoc its “difficult but necessary” decision to lay off all its sailors has wrought.

Online, the company promises a bright future: “P&O Ferries today announced a program of work to become a more competitive and efficient operator, providing better service to our customers in the tourism and freight sectors.”

Any business losing money on average £3 per second throughout the year needs to take action. But P&O Ferries has given ‘business improvement’ a new and extraordinarily tough dimension.

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2022-03-17 21:56:00

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *