Controversial P&O ferries previously hired “contract workers at £1.82 an hour”.

Karl Turner MP, who has been involved with P&O Ferries in his Hull East constituency for years, said migrant workers are expected to work 12-hour shifts for eight weeks

P&O bosses have been given a deadline to provide answers after 800 workers were laid off
P&O Ferries suspended services on Thursday before laying off 800 employees

P&O Ferries has been hiring agency workers from abroad for just £1.82 an hour and some have been forced to live in tents, a Labor MP has claimed.

Karl Turner, who has been involved with the shipping company in his Hull East constituency for years, said migrant workers are expected to work 12-hour shifts for eight weeks.

the Dubai owned company has laid off 800 workers and replaced them with temporary workers who earn less than the minimum wage of £8.91, according to the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union.

Billy Jones, branch secretary for Humber shipping at the RMT union, claimed Eastern Europeans were hired at between £2.60 and £2.80 an hour to crew P&O’s Pride of Hull ship.

Turner said in an interview that in a call to action he knew foreign crews could be hired for even less money.

“Ministers give you platitudes and say, ‘It’s not very good, we have to do something about it,’ and then you do absolutely everything,” he said.

When asked how little workers are being paid, Turner said: “What P&O has previously accepted in meetings with me and the RMT, they said, $2.40 an hour (£1.82). This was only admitted by them because we got some correspondence from P&O management a few years ago that was leaked to the RMT. We presented these documents to the ministers at the time. It’s grotesquely exploitative.”

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P&O ferries ceased service on Thursday before 800 workers were laid off.

The company has been claimed to have lost £100million during the pandemic, although its owner, Dubai-based DP World, reported Record profit this month of £2.9 billion.

Turner alleged that foreign crews on P&O’s Pride of Rotterdam ferry service between the Netherlands and Hull were also subjected to questionable labor practices.

“On the Pride of Rotterdam they work eight weeks and two weeks off,” he said. “They work 12-hour shifts with a short break for meals. They can’t afford decent accommodation so they get horrible dorms in Hull where very often they stay in hostels for £9 a night. Some are known to pitch tents for two weeks.”

Sources close to P&O told the Times that the hourly wage figures collected by Turner and the RMT were wildly inaccurate and that the staff were employed by an agency.

Rishi Sunak told the BBC show on Sunday morning: “I think one of the most important things we can do is create the conditions for businesses to create jobs for people.”

He confirmed that the government is reviewing all of its contracts with P&O. Outsourcing disregards the humanity of workers.

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