The disgraceful decision made by P&O Ferries to sack over 800 British officers and ratings and replace them with agency staff, includes over 50 employees sailing on the Pride of Hull from King George Dock in East Hull.
This shocking move has been made without warning, notice, or consultation, in a deliberate attempt to undercut the wages and conditions of British seafarers. This is despite P&O’s owners, Dubai-based DP World, having received millions of pounds in taxpayer support during the pandemic, who, as you will well know, received over £10m through the furlough scheme, and requested a £150m bailout from Government, despite DP World paying out £250m to shareholders.
At the time of writing, this is a fluid and developing situation, with both RMT Union and Nautilus members having lifted the gangway in multiple ports in order to remain on board. This action is, in our view, entirely justified given the presence of private security companies, engaged by DP World, standing by to enforce the stealing of jobs from current officers and crew.
If P&O and DP World do not stop this scandalous action, we hope you will join us in calling for The Pride of Hull to be stripped of its name. Our city, with its proud and long-standing traditions of decency, respect, and solidarity, should not have its name tarnished by these underhand and aggressive tactics.
There is an immediate need for strong action on the part of the UK Government. I am urging them to use all powers available to ensure P&O and DP World change their current course.
We cannot allow a dangerous precedent to be set, all the more so on transport routes which are strategically vital to the UK. The replacement crews should be immediately stood down.