P&O’S PLAN TO CUT PAY AGAIN
SHAMED P&O Ferries continues to recruit cheap agency staff from abroad after throwing almost its entire UK seafaring workforce overboard last year.
The company – which admitted breaking the law by sacking 800 people without notice in 2022 – plans to staff vessels via a Maltabased crewing agency.
Philcrew was set up on April 6 and is registered to an address shared with more than 20 other companies. A document sent to staff states it will “serve P&O Ferries only”.
Workers must sign up with Philcrew if they “wish to continue work on P&O Ferries’ vessels” and contracts will “continue to be reviewed”.
And one entry in the Q&A document appears to address fears over areas of focus, asking: “Will Philcrew only source from the Philippines?” The answer given is: “Philcrew intend to work with their partners in other countries as well as the Philippines to fulfil P&O Ferries’ requirements.”
Union Nautilus International said: “P&O Ferries is determined to continue to recruit agency labour from abroad on lower wages and poor conditions.” General secretary Mark Dickinson added: “This latest development is just a further example of the contemptuous approach the company takes to its employees.”
Labour MP Richard Burgon accused the Government of turning a blind eye to P&O Ferries’ “unscrupulous” actions.
He said: “This is shameless stuff from P&O. They got exposed last year for treating workers like dirt and were unapologetic about breaking employment law. They should stop the drive towards Victorian-era treatment of workers. And the Government should finally take real action.”
In March 2022, P&O replaced almost its entire UK seafaring staff with agency crew. Chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite was branded a criminal at a parliamentary hearing into the sackings, in which staff in average £36,000 roles were replaced with foreign crew on £5.15 an hour.
P&O Ferries was approached for comment.
A MAN appeared in court accused of pretending to be a police officer and trying to arrest Tory MP Sir Gavin Williamson.
Simon Parry, 44, allegedly followed the former Education Secretary near the Commons and “brought out a warrant card”, Westminster magistrates heard.
Parry, who lives in a protest camp, denies stalking and impersonating a police officer. His trial was set for October.