P&O boss should be in the dock

P&O boss should be in the dock

7 May 2024

RMT Press Office:

Maritime union, RMT today condemned P&O head Peter Hebblethwaite over his Parliamentary Committee performance where he admitted staff were paid under £5 an hour.

Mr Hebblethwaite who is CEO of P&O Ferries company, unlawfully sacked over 700 seafarers just over 2 years ago, was grilled by the Business and Trade Committee over his role at the disgraced ferry outfit.

He admitted dreadfully low wages of £4.87 were paid to his workers but admitted he did not know how long seafarers worked on board ships without a break.


Evidence has been found of workers not having any leave for 17 weeks straight which falls well outside what is considered safe working conditions internationally. 

He bizarrely went on to say that P&O did not sack anyone just over 2 years ago and that they acted legally, even though no due process was followed around redundancy laws and collective bargaining arrangements with trades unions.

Mr Hebblethwaite received a £183,000 bonus in April 2023, on top of the £325,000 basic salary.


RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "Peter Hebblethwaite should be in the dock for what his company is responsible for.

"Yet he is allowed to pontificate in Parliament, failing several times to be accurate and retaining bumper bonuses throughout his tenure as the head of P&O ferries.

"Maritime communities have not recovered from the mass sackings of seafarers in 2022 and the government has not passed laws that will help deter other employers doing the same thing in the future.

"Our shipping industry needs investment in skills, good terms and conditions for ratings and companies like DP World which own P&O, to be ejected from the country to prevent mass exploitation of seafarers."

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Tagged with: RMT, Mick Lynch, Seafarers, P&O Ferries, Peter Hebblethwaite