5 May 2022
RMT Press Office:
Disgraced P&O CEO Peter Hebblethwaite has been promoted to another directorship within the beleaguered company, despite overseeing 800 unlawful sackings and countless breaches of safety on the P&O fleet.
Mr Hebblethwaite who admitted breaching employment law during a Transport Select Committee hearing in March, by sacking 800 seafarers and replacing them with agency crews, was appointed on 1st April to the new post which has been announced today on Companies House.
Mr Hebblethwaite already earns a basic rate of pay of £325,000 per year and has not ruled out taking a bonus, despite the Insolvency Service’s live investigation of P&O’s actions against UK resident crew on 17th March.
The Pride of Kent has failed safety inspections on three occasions and two other P&O Ferries have also failed Maritime and Coastguard Agency inspections since the mass sacking of experienced local crew. The catalogue of safety failures on the P&O ships include fire safety equipment not being installed, poorly maintained lifeboats and inadequate certification of the agency crew employed by International Fleet Management.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "Gangster capitalists should not be rewarded for their appalling employment practices; they should be punished with the full force of law.
"Promoting Peter Hebblethwaite is a complete insult to workers everywhere, especially our members in Dover, Hull, Larne, Cairnryan and Liverpool who continue to deal with the consequences of P&O Ferries appalling assault on their jobs and livelihoods.
“Hebblethwaite is paid a basic £325,000 per year whilst Indian Able Seafarers on the Pride of Canterbury are paid a basic of £3.97 per hour. This naked corporate greed on our key ferry routes cannot be allowed to continue.
“Criminal and civil investigations of P&O’s actions are underway but there is clearly no depth to the contempt that P&O Ferries and its parent company has for UK employment law and our seafarers, not to mention Grant Shapps ‘9-point plan.’
"P&O and Hebblethwaite are specialists in failure and the Government has to take further action to reinstate sacked seafarers and to prevent further carnage in the UK ferries sector."