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P&O Ferries makes 800 staff redundant and warns of ‘significant disruption’ to services ‘over next few days’

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Herons Logistics

DOVER : P&O Ferries has made 800 of its staff redundant, effective immediately, and cancelled all its services for the next few days.

Crew on all ships have been asked to discharge their passengers and cargo and “standby for further instructions”, but one union has told its members to stay on board

The move – to plug a £100m year-on-year black hole in the company’s finances – is believed to affect everyone from captains to check-in staff, to engine room staff, loaders and cleaners.

Unions have called for mobilisation and branded the redundancies “a knife right through the heart of UK maritime”.

The company said these staff will be served with “enhanced” severance packages, calling it a “necessary decision” to protect its remaining 2,200 staff.Advertisement

It said the business is “not viable” in its current state

In a statement, the ferry operator said: “We have made a £100m loss year-on-year, which has been covered by our parent DP World. This is not sustainable. Our survival is dependent on making swift and significant changes now.

“Without these changes, there is no future for P&O Ferries.”

People in balaclavas ‘taking British crew’ off ships

Following the announcement, Labour MP Diana Johnson said people in balaclavas had been seen “taking British crew” off of the ships.

Making a point of order in the House of Commons, the Kingston upon Hull North MP described P&O’s actions as “shameful” and warned they will have a “major economic impact on places like the Humber”.

She said the staff who have been made redundant were being replaced by agency staff in buses on the quayside.

RMT representative Gaz Jackson told Sky News that he had been aboard one of the vessels when the news broke.

He said officers were played one Zoom video and given the chance to join the new company that will carry on the service, while ratings were played a different Zoom video and not given the same opportunity.

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