P&O Ferries become embroiled with politicians, the unions and members of the public after axing 800 members of staff, many of whom live on the ships, without warning and without union negotiations.Peter Hebblethwaite, the Chief Executive of P&O Ferries has been labelled a “shameless criminal” by a Labour MP after sacking 800 members of staff without warning or discussions with unions.
GB News spoke to an insider at P&O after it was also discovered that the positions previously held by the axed staff had been filled with agency workers at an average wage of £5.50 per hour.
This hourly wage is much lower than the UK minimum wage bracket and Transport Secretary Grant Schapps was critical of the company using fire and rehire tactics.
Mr Schapps gave the P&O boss “one final opportunity” to reemploy the staff on their former rates.
However, Mr Hebblethwaite had previously responded to the offer saying any U-turn would cause the company’s collapse, costing even more jobs.
According to the P&O insider, 30 employees at Dover including captains and engineers have been re-employed to train the new workers who are replacing them.
The training is in a number of jobs including “how to run the ships…how the machinery works to tying down the lorries to cleaning.”
The insider said: “P&O have told them they will have to train all these new people to do a number of jobs.
“It’s diabolical – a real slap in the face.”
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New regulations are hoped to act as a deterrent as measures could see courts and tribunals increasing employee compensation by as much as 25 percent in the event of an employer failing to follow the legislation.
Labour have joined the unions in expressing criticism of the Government’s plans as “too little, too late” and would be of “no comfort” for the already sacked P&O workers.
Calls have been growing for the P&O chief to resign but he stated that he would not gratify the calls for his resignation despite admitting to sacking staff without consultation with Unions which broke the law.