P&O Ferries is facing widespread criticism and the prospect of legal action after yesterday firing 800 seafarers via video call.
The company said Labor MP Karl Turner LBC received 10 million during the coronavirus pandemic
P&O Ferries laid off 800 employees yesterday and announced plans to replace them with contract workers. This was announced by a spokesman for the company daily mirror that the company had to lay off staff after losing £100million due to disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the BBCHer employees were told in a video call that Thursday was their “last day of employment”. P&O said it would offer “expanded compensation packages” to all those affected by the cuts, but no details were released.
Some ferry workers then refused to disembark their ships in protest before being dragged off the boats by “balaclava-clad security guards,” it was reported itv.
“I am extremely concerned and frankly angry at the way P&O workers have been treated,” said Robert Courts, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Transport. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said P&O’s “secret plan” to fire employees without notice was “reprehensible”.
Labor MP Turner said the redundancies were an “absolutely regrettable predatory practice that takes full advantage of the loophole in the legislation”. Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Hai said images circulating online of employees being taken off ships were “the action of thugs”.
“Fire and Reset”
The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, an independent trade union, said P&O Ferries has encouraged its staff to apply to the agency to continue their employment, effectively meaning they are being encouraged to re-apply for their own positions in the example described by the union to promote “Fire and Rehire”.
“Fire and rehire” is a controversial technique in which a company fires employees before telling them they can apply for their old jobs on less favorable terms. Weetabix, Tesco and British Gas are among the companies reported to have used this tactic in the past The guard.
In response to the firings, a No. 10 spokesman said: “We do not agree with the practice of firing and reinstatement and would be dismayed if this is the outcome they sought to achieve.”
This was announced by employment lawyer Rustom Tata, chairman of the law firm DMH Stallard The Telegraph that those who describe the P&O strife as an example of “fire and reinstate” are wrong, adding that instead of offering contracts on worse terms, employees are being laid off and replaced with agency workers.
The Guardian said that “what P&O is trying to do looks a little different” than firing and rehiring, explaining: “Rather than rehiring staff in their old jobs, he’s replacing them with agency workers and saying that laid-off staff , if they wanted, join these agencies.”
Nevertheless, Mark Dickinson, the general secretary of the maritime trade union Nautilus International, told Radio 4 today program that the layoffs “have ripped everyone’s guts out” and are “clearly illegal.”
P&O Ferries said the decision to lay off staff was “tough” but that the business was not viable without “making rapid and significant changes”. Critics have pointed out that its owner, Dubai-based DP World, paid a £270m dividend to shareholders in 2020.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/956130/what-is-fire-and-rehire P&O Ferries: What is Fire and Rehire?