Issued March 18, 2022
Dover & Deal Liberal Democrats demand government step in to help redundant P&O ferry workers and amend legal loophole which permits this action
Dover & Deal Liberal Democrats are appalled at the P&O Ferries’ announcement yesterday that it was firing 800 staff with immediate effect, and the callous way in which this was undertaken.
The Government is now crying crocodile tears over P&O Ferries’ action, but last year the Conservatives blocked a proposed new law designed to protect British workers’ rights and curb businesses' ability to lay staff off and rehire them back on different, and often worse, pay and terms. Our very own Conservative MP, Natalie Elphicke, voted to block this law.
Said chair of Dover & Deal Liberal Democrats, Penelope James:
“Yesterday’s action by P&O is a direct attack on workers’ rights and is reprehensible. The government must step in urgently, help reduce tensions and bring people back to the table. If P&O cannot manage this, then the government needs to consider how a more responsible owner can be brought in.
“Furthermore, the Government must, without delay block the loophole in UK employment law, aimed just at seafarers, which P&O Ferries have been able to employ as the UK is no longer in the EU.
“In May 2020 Dover & Deal Liberal Democrats called on the Government to support the P&O Ferries’ employees following the devastating announcement that the company was to make around 25% of its workforce, or 1,100 employees, redundant. They should have acted sooner. This action by P&O Ferries brings back bitter memories of the closures of Pfizer at Sandwich and Manston Airport, when once again local MPs and Councils were ‘asleep at the wheel’ and as usual ordinary working people suffer.”
Dover & Deal Liberal Democrats call on all stakeholders in the Dover area to come together to formulate a response plan for all those affected by the action of Saudi-owned P&O Ferries.
For further information please contact:
Dover & Deal Liberal Democrats
T: 07860 162231