25 March 2022
RMT Press Office
MARITIME Union RMT today called for the Scottish, Welsh and UK Governments to exclude P&O Ferries owners, DP World from taxpayer funded Freeports.
The Scottish Government has published its bidding prospectus for publicly funded ‘Green’ Freeports which receive at least £25m in seed funding. P&O Ferries owners DP World are heavily involved in English Freeports, particularly the Thames and Solent. An announcement is also said to be ‘imminent’ on a Freeport in Wales.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch said:
“P&O Ferries’ dismissal of 800 skilled seafarers was directed by their owner, DP World who have said that obeying the UK law to consult trade unions would have cost them too much.
“P&O Ferries said yesterday that they would be prepared to break the law again, presumably if they received the same instruction from their owners in Dubai.
“This cannot go unpunished and the Governments in Westminster, Holyrood and the Senedd must state that they will exclude DP World from the public funding and tax breaks that come with Freeport status, unless our members are reinstated by P&O Ferries.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
- On 17 March, P&O Ferries announced via video that 800 UK seafarers were to be made redundant with immediate effect, in Dover, Hull, Larne, Cairnryan and Liverpool.
- P&O Ferries CEO Peter Hebblethwaite told MPs yesterday that the company had broken UK law and that “I would make this decision again, I’m afraid.”
- DP World has paid dividends over $376,000,000 to its owners, the Dubai state since 2020. Page 103 dpw-38674-annual-report-2021-eng-front-aw4-mn.pdf (dpworld.com)
- DP World operates in the Solent and Thames Freeports and P&O operate from the Tees, Liverpool and Thames Freeports.
- Scottish Government announced its bidding process had started today https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bidding-opens-for-two-landmark-green-freeports-in-scotland
- Yesterday, Labour politicians in Wales called for a guarantee that DP World, the parent company of P&O Ferries, would be excluded from any future freeports in Wales. Western Mail 24 March 2022