UNISON condemns ‘shameful’ P&O Ferries action

General secretary calls for enforceable charter of employment rights and an end to ‘fire and hire’ culture

UNISON has strongly condemned the move by P&O Ferries to sack 800 British crew members across its fleet.

The company’s announcement that it has – with immediate effect – terminated its entire seafaring workforce and intends to replace these crew members with agency staff on worse terms and conditions is described by UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea as a “shameful betrayal” of these workers, and an example of “disgraceful, unethical tactics” used by employers who take advantage of the fact that UK law offers little protection against this practice.

Responding to the announcement, Christina McAnea said: “Companies should not be able to use bully-boy tactics against loyal workers.

“It should be unlawful for any worker to lose their job to be ‘replaced’ by cheaper labour when the job is still there. We have seen these disgraceful and unethical tactics used time and again.

“Now is the time to stop the ‘fire and rehire’ of staff – the government needs to act now to save P&O jobs and prevent this happening again.”

UNISON has repeated its call for a clear, enforceable charter of employment rights to be enshrined in UK law which would prevent such disgraceful behaviour by unscrupulous employers, and stands in full solidarity with the RMT and Nautilus unions as they work to support their members in the face of P&O’s appalling behaviour.