IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS - P&O FERRIES

Our Ref SH/14/3
21st April 2020


Dear Colleagues

IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS - P&O FERRIES

Further to my letter dated 20th April 2020, I want to take this opportunity to advise you that P&O Ferries are yet to produce documentation identifying any detail for discussion whilst hiding behind financial figures based on projections in a “business as normal” situation rather than taking into consideration the savings to date that the UK Government furlough scheme has generated.

Given that a vast majority of P&O’s loyal and hard working employees have been furloughed RMT has been in dialogue with a number of MP’s raising our concerns around the knee jerk reaction by P&O, whom on one hand are stating Government intervention yet expressing a desire to water down terms and conditions including the employment of less UK ratings employed on overnight routes.

Your union will be meeting with the Maritime minister Kelly Tolhurst next Monday and will be raising our concerns that a company who is owned by DP world who will be paying shareholders a dividend of $332m dividend to their private shareholders next week whilst seeking financial intervention of the UK yet wishing to reduce terms and conditions and job security of our members.

RMT are in daily dialogue with other transport unions who also organise workers within P&O who all share the same concerns as your union.

It is apparent that P&O do not wish to effectively communicate with the trade unions at this time and you will be aware of the roadshows that have taken place and many of the scripted questions whilst unconvincing in answering the more detailed and direct questions of RMT members.

RMT have concerns regarding the strategy, intent and professionalism of P&O and have written to ITF general secretary seeking intervention in the interests of RMT members and the wider trade union movement to ensure support for members of RMT is at hand. We have requested urgent dialogue of all European affiliates within the Ferry sector to uphold our national terms and conditions and rates of pay and will not be hoodwinked into lasting changes during a short term crisis.

I would be most obliged if you could ensure that your contact details are correct during this period and this can be done either via our website www.rmt.org.uk or you can email any changes to info@rmt.org.uk

Let us be under no illusion, the current crisis has highlighted that the UK is reliant upon the Ferry sector as it is a vital part of the supply chain to the UK and the UK government is now more aware than ever of the complexities and loopholes being exercised within the shipping sector.

Lastly I would like to applaud the efforts of all our representatives in the three sectors during this time who are updating details and ensuring effective communication is taking place during this time of industrial challenge.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary