RMT responds to Government’s increase in taxpayer support to P&O Ferries by demanding withdrawal of redundancy plans
SEAFARER Union RMT has responded to the Government’s increase in taxpayer support to P&O Ferries by demanding that P&O Ferries withdraw plans for 1,100 redundancies mainly amongst directly employed UK seafarers in Dover and Hull.
A Written Answer to Hull East MP Karl Turner revealed that P&O Ferries’ payment through the taxpayer funded Critical Freight Grant had increased 36% (£1.25m) on the Hull-Rotterdam route. P&O is seeking to make redundancies amongst UK Ratings on this route whilst retaining foreign agency crew on £4.50 per hour and six month contracts.
In recent correspondence with RMT on this matter, Shipping Minister Kelly Tolhurst MP advised that “They [P&O] have confirmed they remain committed to a locally sourced workforce and when their market returns P&O will again look to their local labour markets to fill new roles.”
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said;
“P&O Ferries want to slash 1,100 jobs, mainly in Hull and Dover by the end of June so they can permanently replace local seafarers with exploited foreign crews when passenger traffic picks up. That much is clear from P&O’s plans for the Pride of Hull, which are an insult to the people of Hull.
“Taxpayer support through the Critical Freight Grant has been bumped up to £14.8m and we have shown in talks with P&O that 20% savings can be made without destroying seafarer jobs in Hull or Dover.
“The Government and the Transport Select Committee need to call P&O Ferries in and get these dangerous redundancy proposals taken off the table, as a matter of urgency.”