The British government has sent a letter to P&O Ferries requesting that the laid-off staff be rehired. British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the administration would have a “last chance” to restore confidence.
On March 17, P&O Ferries, which operates ferries between Great Britain, Ireland and Europe, decided to lay off 800 crew members in one fell swoop. The company said it was facing financial difficulties that it had no other choice. P&O Ferries already had cheaper alternative foreign workers, but they haven’t been able to get started yet. Ferry traffic has stopped since the announcement, causing repetition tour Huge political outrage†
Britain’s transport minister, along with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has requested the resignation of P&O Ferries CEO Peter Hebblethwaite. On Monday, the government asked him to reinstate hundreds of redundant employees, on their previous salaries and working conditions. Normally, fired employees would have until March 31 to receive the severance package, but Conservative Minister Shapps wants the company to drop that deadline.
Later this week, the British government plans to submit a package of measures to Parliament, including minimum wages for crew members of ferry companies sailing to Great Britain. The minimum wage is £8.91 an hour (€10.62), according to the BBC, while the shipping company is only willing to pay £5.50 an hour (€6.56) for new crew members.
Ferry traffic stopped
The company said Monday that P&O ferry traffic remains suspended, and that it will sail again between Dover and Calais from April 1 at the earliest. The Easter holiday will start on Saturday and it is hoped that we will be able to carry passengers again by then.
P&O Ferries is owned by DP World in the United Arab Emirates. The shipping company still employs about 2,200 people.
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