RMT demands meeting over betrayal of P&O seafarers

RMT demands meeting over betrayal of P&O seafarers

24 August 2022

RMT Press Office

SEAFARERS Union RMT has written to the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps MP to demand a meeting to discuss the government’s failure to take action against P&O Ferries after it broke the law in dismissing nearly 800 seafarers in March and replaced them with agency crew.

Despite the illegal sackings the Ministry of Defence has spent £50,000 making over 300 bookings on P&O services which are now crewed with exploited agency crews flown in to work months solid for under £4 per hour.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that the government had completely failed to penalise P&O or any of the other low-cost operators.

“Ministers regularly express their anger and commitment to tackle P&O Ferries and DP World but nothing has been done to reverse these actions or to close loopholes in order to prevent a repeat of this outrageous action.

“The outgoing Prime Minister also told the Commons on March 23 that the government was taking legal action against P&O but, despite these grand public statements, P&O has not been prosecuted and no ferry operators have been suspended.

“The government points to international maritime law as a barrier to taking action against P&O yet DP World has posted a record £600 million profit in the first half of this year and P&O Ferries CEO Peter Hebblethwaite has been promoted to the board of P&O and publicly praised by DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.

“It is also shocking to learn that the Ministry of Defence has spent public money on P&O Ferries services and continues to receive support from the taxpayer,” he said.

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