The devastating reality of P&O job cuts as employees are ‘unable to pay mortgages or support children’


P&O Ferries laid off 800 staff over a video call yesterday, leaving them with an uncertain future amid the cost of living crisis. A staffer tells The Mirror the crisis is devastating for staff and their communities

Laid-off workers leave the Port of Dover
The ferry company laid off 800 workers via video call yesterday

A P&O Ferries employee tells the company Shock dismissal of 800 employees has created excitement among parents unsure of how to pay their mortgages or feed their children.

Yesterday P&O ferries Fire hundreds of employees via video call and plans to replace them with cheap agency staff.

The move has sparked an outcry from union leaders and politicians, with some workers refusing to leave one of the ferries in protest.

Demonstrations are taking place in Dover, Hull and Liverpool today.

One of the protesters, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was fired from the ferry company after 30 years of service.

The man who joined P&O right out of school said, “Yes, we lost our jobs. But we also lost a bit of our life.

Members of the RMT protest against job cuts in Dover


Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

“We have spent half our lives on board these ferries. We had our own cabins, we furnished them with our own stuff. Everything was ripped away from us.

“The boys had 15 minutes to pack up and get out. I’ve seen grown men in tears worrying about how they’re going to pay their mortgage and feed their children.”

But the protester said morale among the pickets was high and the protesters, along with other unions and local residents, were ready for the fight.

“People will fight it,” he said. “We don’t want severance packages. My package is less than a tenth of what I would earn in the rest of my working life.

“I want my job back. Why should it be taken from me and given to someone else? Everything I had was earned and won through collective bargaining.

“It’s madness when it should have been a job for life.”

The mass redundancies will also have a massive impact on the affected ports, where many employees work or have worked for P&O Ferries.

The demonstrating P&O worker added: “This will have a devastating impact on the area.

The mother of a sacked P&O ferry operator told The Mirror: “You are a really brutal company. In my opinion what they are doing to Dover will decimate the city.

“There are so many people who work there who have ties to P&O.”

A P&O ferry in Hull where staff were made redundant yesterday



P&O employs 3,000 people and has 20 ships.

A spokesman for P&O Ferries said: “We know that this redundancy has come without warning or consultation for our staff and we fully understand that this has caused distress for them and their families.

“We made this difficult decision as a last resort and only after fully considering all other options, but ultimately came to the conclusion that the company would not survive without fundamental changes in crewing arrangements, which in turn would inevitably lead to redundancies.

“We also believed in good faith that it would be impossible to reach agreement on how to proceed and, against this background, that the process itself would be very disruptive, not only to business but to UK trade and Tourism.”

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