RMT calls for economic sanctions against P&O - one month on from mass sackings

RMT calls for economic sanctions against P&O - one month on from mass sackings

14 April 2022

RMT Press Office

The Maritime union points out that several P&O Ferries have not been able to sail since the vicious and reckless act of sacking 800 skilled seafarers on the 17th March.

Ships have been found to not be seaworthy due to agency crews not being familiar with the vessels, a lack of competency around fire safety and emergency evacuation, firefighting equipment that is not fit for purpose, and deficient structural integrity levels.

P&O has also tried to claim that the callous and unlawful act of sacking 800 staff was to “minimise disruption to the vital services we run on major sea routes.”

Mick Lynch, RMT General Secretary said: “P&O’s claim that they had to sack our members on grounds of efficiency was always a ludicrous claim and has now been entirely blown out of the water.

“The Sultan of Dubai who owns P&O ferries is being allowed to hold this country to ransom because the government refuses to take over the running of the company and put the 800 sacked staff back to work to safely operate those vessels.

“The Government must apply economic sanctions to P&O for the cost of their destructive actions and we need a Fair Ferries agreement in order to avoid any repeat of this type of gangster capitalist behaviour in the future.”




  1. In correspondence with the Joint Select Committee Inquiry into the summary dismissal of 800 UK based seafarers, P&O included HR1 forms submitted to the government on the day of the dismissals. P&O state to the Government that the mass sackings were timed to ‘minimise disruption to the vital services we run on major sea routes’ from Dover and the other ports affected, Hull, Cairnryan, Larne and Liverpool. Correspondence from P&O Ferries Chief Executive re notification to authorities and vessel safety
  2. Massive tailbacks and delays have been affecting hauliers and ferry services from Dover to Calais and Dover to Dunkerque since P&O took this illegal action, which the Insolvency Service is investigating for criminal and civil offences which may have been committed.
  3. The Pride of Kent and European Causeway were detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for failing Port State Control safety inspections in March, after P&O’s mass sackings on 17 March. The MCA detained the Spirit of Britain earlier this week.
  4. RMT is working to agree a Fair Ferries Framework National Agreement with employers and the Government to establish trade union pay rates and terms and conditions as the minimum standard on international ferry routes from UK ports.

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