A week ago today, P&O and their Dubai-based parent company DP World made the disgraceful decision to sack over 800 British officers and ratings and replace them with agency staff, including over 50 employees sailing on the Pride of Hull from King George Dock in East Hull.
Since then, in Parliament and at the ports, we have stood up for these workers to say no to P&O and make it clear that is behaviour will not be tolerated. I, the Labour Party, and the RMT and Nautilus trade unions have been fighting to get the Government to act and force P&O to reinstate the workers it has mistreated so badly, and ensure something like this can never happen again.
On Monday, Labour called a vote in Parliament, demanding that the Government:
- Outlaw fire and rehire and bring forward an urgent bill to strengthen workers’ rights.
- Suspend the contracts of DP World until this matter is resolved
- Remove DP World from the UK Government’s Transport Advisory Group where they were appointed by the now Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, “to provide knowledge, experience and strategic expertise” on trade negotiations.
You can watch my speech from the debate above.
On Wednesday at Prime Minister’s Questions, I asked the Boris Johnson if he will urgently legislate to guarantee seafarers in the UK receive the National Minimum Wage, and make sure the shameful P&O/DP World saga can never be repeated. This should have happened years ago but we are yet to see any formal action from the Government. I am working closely with the Government to ensure the loopholes that bad employers at sea have used for many years are finally closed, and will provide an update as soon as I can.