RMT slams scandal of taxpayer support for P&O shareholders

RMT slams scandal of taxpayer support for P&O shareholders

8 June 2020

RMT Press Office:

RMT slams scandal of taxpayer support for P&O shareholders as they plan to axe 1100 UK seafarer jobs.

P&O SEAFARERS Union RMT today reacted with fury following the release of Government contracts detailing the UK taxpayers’ support for roll-on roll-off ferry operators during the pandemic.

Critical Freight Grant payments have been allocated to operators to keep essential goods, medical and veterinary supplies coming into the country. The recipient of the highest amount is P&O Ferries who are seeking to cut 1,100 jobs on the same routes by the end of this month.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said;

“The Government is supporting ferry companies to the tune of over £33m until mid-July. By that time, P&O Ferries will have put 1,100 workers – mostly seafarers in Dover and Hull – on the dole and working class seafarers will have been failed by this Government.

“RMT continues to demand that the Shipping Minister works with the maritime unions and cross-party MPs on a rescue package that saves key workers’ jobs at P&O.

“Like the aviation industry, ferries are strategically vital to the economy and my members do not appreciate being treated differently to other key workers in the transport sector. It is time for the Government to act to stop these job losses.”



Notes to editors
1.        P&O Ferries announced 11 May plans to make 1,100 redundancies, including over 610 Ratings in Dover and over 120 Ratings in Hull.
2.        RMT is campaigning save all these key workers’ jobs through a ‘Project Birch’ style rescue package in the short term and wider reform of the ferries industry in the long term.
3.        The public contracts for the ferry routes supported by the UK Government’s Critical Freight Grant are on the Official Journal of the EU  here and include Hull-Rotterdam, Hull-Zeebrugge and Dover-Calais where P&O Ferries are seeking to make mass redundancies amongst UK seafarers
Break down  of Critical Freight Grant payments* by route and operator:
Portsmouth-Santander Brittany Ferries - £1,508,265
Portsmouth-Cherbourg Brittany Ferries - £1,042,551
Poole-Bilbao Brittany Ferries - £370,395
Dover-Dunkerque DFDS - £3,068,766
Dover-Calais P&O - £1,173,915 DFDS - £3,770,838 
Folkestone-Coquelles (Channel Tunnel) £3,431,863
Cairnryan-Larne P&O - £3,581,685
Tilbury-Zeebrugge P&O - £2,053,206
Teesport-Europoort P&O - £1,098,369
Hull-Europoort P&O - £3,504,249
Hull-Zeebrugge P&O - £1,842,210
Heysham-Warrenpoint Seatruck - £849,159
Rotterdam-Killingholme Stena Line - £2,018,547
Cairnryan-Belfast Stena Line - £1,077,597
Harwich-Rotterdam Stena Line - £1,822,365
Harwich-Hoek van Holland Stena Line - £1,608,003
TOTAL: £33,821,983
*Payments are for a 9-week period from 11 May 2020.

Want to receive updates from us? Subscribe to a mailing list

Tagged with: Covid-19, P&O Ferries, taxpayer support, redundancies, seafarers,