IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS – P&O FERRIES

7th April 2020


Dear Colleagues

IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS – P&O FERRIES

Further to my letter dated 1st April 2020, in which I advised you that P&O Ferries advised that they were beginning a formal consultation with the recognised trades union.

I am now in receipt of the consultation document. The purpose of the consultation is to cut costs during the current coronavirus crisis. In this respect, the company are proposing the following measures:-

· Reduce number of core crew/increase travellers on market rated flexible contract
· New ships & technology – will need to review numbers and existing skills
· Flexible shifts (reduce shifts from 12 to 8 or 4 hours to flex with customer demand)
· Mobility clause that we adhere to
· Introduction of a ‘no-strike agreement’ in peak periods
· Reduce UK seafarers on overnight routes
· Revision of OBS Structure North Sea – Assistant Manager role / 1011 contracts
· Pay during ‘duties worked’
· Holidays to be taken in ‘off’ time
· No leave to be booked during seasonal peaks
· Leave to be rostered in off-peak periods
· Introduction of new role – General Purpose Rating across OBS/D&T departments
· New ships & technology – will need to undertake training / upskilling of roles
· Rates of pay negotiated to more sustainable level
· Removal of DOCA allowance
· Reduce occupational sick pay
· Agreed trigger points for sickness absence
· Redundancy formula – reduce to statutory
· Introduction of lay off clause in CBA to manage commercially any major change to trading
· Removal of long service benefit
· Removal of profit share

Obviously, this is far from ideal. It has been reported in the press that P&O Ferries are seeking financial assistance from the UK government, therefore it seems incredulous that the company wish to pre-empt this by taking a raid on your hard won terms and conditions. It beggars belief that P&O Ferries are claiming poverty when their owners DP World, based in Dubai, will pay a $332m dividend to their private shareholders on 29th April 2020.

At this moment in time, I am speaking to your Representatives on all vessels and on all routes with regards to these proposals and I shall feedback their views to the union’s National Executive Committee. Your union will be exploring all legal, political and industrial avenues in order to ensure that your pay and conditions of service remain protected throughout the crisis and beyond. I will keep you fully advised and informed over the coming weeks.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash