TO ALL SHIPPING BRANCHES AND REGIONAL COUNCILS.
Our ref: S1/1
22nd May 2020
Save P&O Jobs – Save Britain’s Ferries
Further to Circular no. 090/20 of 22nd April 2020, I am writing to update you on the fight to save jobs at P&O Ferries, particularly the 736 Ratings under attack in Dover and Hull.
This is a cynical and opportunistic attack on our hard working members in P&O Ferries who keep the country supplied and the economy running. These outrageous proposals would wipe out over 60% of UK Ratings working on these routes and 8% of the national total. It is also a direct attack on RMT members in P&O Ferries, especially in Dover.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in March, P&O Ferries has qualified for over £10m to pay 80% of backdated wages for 1,400 furloughed staff and at least £15m more public funding to keep freight lines running in the ports and on the ferries where they are seeking mass redundancies. At the same time, P&O’s owners DP World paid out a £270m dividend and demanded £250m from Government and UK workers.
DP World see a chance to maximise their returns from Dover and Hull’s strategically vital ferries but we are crystal clear that RMT members will not be made to pay off debts in Dubai. The company was seeking to extend the ‘low cost’ crewing model before the pandemic and we will continue to fight P&O Ferries’ attempt to use Coronavirus as a cover for permanently replacing UK Ratings with foreign crew on sub-minimum wage pay and six month contracts, from Dover and Hull or any other ports.
All RMT Branches and members are urged to take two immediate actions to put political pressure on the Government to act to save jobs at P&O Ferries:
1. Sign and circulate the Union’s petition calling on the Government to save jobs at P&O Ferries and to re-build the national ferry industry.
I would be grateful if you would share this update with all members in your branch or region and I will keep you informed of further developments in this campaign.