P&O justice fight latest

Two years after P&O sackings, fight for justice goes on  

Reading time: 3 min

Two years ago, P&O illegally sacked nearly 800 ferry workers on the spot over zoom. Last week, Unite Eurotunnel rep Patrice Godefroy travelled to Parliament to a demonstration condemning the government for its inaction.

Shamefully, despite ministers expressing outrage when the workers were sacked, P&O has not been held to account for breaking the law, there have been no legislative reforms and its directors and owners have faced no sanctions.

On the second anniversary of the sackings, ITV revealed that the overseas agency workers hired to replace the UK crews are being paid less than half the UK’s minimum wage.

The government promised nearly two years ago to implement legislation to ensure P&O pays its crews the minimum wage – something it has failed to do.

Patrice said, “It is disgraceful that the crews onboard P&O ferries are paid as little as £4.87 an hour. They report regularly working 12 hours day, seven days a week for 17 weeks at time with no days off and being unable to leave the ship.

“These are dreadful working conditions that are illegal in the UK. It also puts passengers at risk because the crew undertake safety critical roles, which will be compromised because they are tired and overworked.”

Not only have ministers failed to hold the company to account, since the sackings P&O and its parent company DP World have received around £228 million from the government.

Patrice said, “P&O’s boss admitted he broke the law, in front of a Parliamentary committee, but there has been no sanction. Ferry companies have started a race to the bottom and are putting British workers’ jobs at risk. The government must act to stop this now.”

by Ryan Fletcher