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Amid renewed ship safety concerns, calls are growing for the state to operate P&O Ferries

With Pride of Britain being held in Dover, the TUC claimed there were “significant concerns” about P&O’s ability to operate safely. The union is calling for the company to become public property

The P&O Ferries ship Spirit of Britain (right) moored at the Port of Dover in Kent
The P&O Ferries ship Spirit of Britain (right) moored at the Port of Dover in Kent

P&O Ferries should be transferred to public ownership unless a “suitable” operator can be found quickly, the TUC said as a fresh reassurance
Concerns were raised about another company vessel.

A P&O ferry en route from Dover to Calais remained stranded yesterday after a re-inspection found “additional deficiencies”.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said there were problems with security systems and crew documents for the Pride of Kent.

With Pride of Britain also taking place in Dover, the TUC claimed there were “significant concerns” about P&O’s ability to operate safely.

The union’s appeal comes after the company laid off 800 seafarers last month and replaced them with agency crews paying just £5.50 an hour.

It tried to justify the move by claiming it was suffering losses of £100million a year.







Freight lorries queue at the Port of Dover as P&O Ferries departures remain suspended
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Picture:

PA)

Since then, most of P&O Ferries’ services have been suspended, which is likely to put further financial pressure on the company, on top of the £36million cost of a severance package for the laid-off workers.

The disruption to its services has resulted in backlogs in cargo shipments.

The TUC said there was “clear precedent” for government stepping in to keep essential services running. It referred to the railroad industry, where the Department of Transport operated intercity passenger services on the East Coast Mainline on two separate occasions.

TUC chief Frances O’Grady said: “Unless P&O can work safely and without violating the right to terminate and without contract workers for a pittance, it has no viable business model.

“The government must be prepared to step in and take over P&O’s cargo and passenger services if a suitable and adequate operator cannot be found quickly. This has already happened in other sectors and would bring much-needed stability.”

P&O Ferries said: “We take passenger and crew safety very seriously and look forward to all our ships welcoming back tourist passengers and cargo customers once all mandatory safety tests have been passed.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/calls-grow-state-run-po-26716971 Amid renewed ship safety concerns, calls are growing for the state to operate P&O Ferries

Fry Electronics Team

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