Hull MPs call for immediate 'strong action' from Government over P&O Ferries

Hull's three MPs have written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps asking for immediate "strong action on the part of the UK Government" following the P&O Ferries severances this morning.

A man on board the P&O ferry Pride of Hull in the Port of Hull, East Yorkshire (PA)
A man on board the P&O ferry Pride of Hull in the Port of Hull, East Yorkshire (PA)

Karl Turner, Emma Hardy and Dame Diana Johnson said the “shocking move has been made without warning, notice, or consultation, in a deliberate attempt to undercut the wages and conditions of British seafarers” after 800 people were told they were losing their jobs.

The ferry operator, bought by Dubai-based logistics giant DP World in 2019, insisted the decision to cut jobs was “very difficult but necessary” as it was “not a viable business” in its current state.

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It is thought that agency workers are being lined up to replace the sacked staff.

In Hull, members of two unions are believed to be holding a sit in on the Pride of Hull ship, which makes regular trips between the Yorkshire port and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

In a letter to the Secretary of State this afternoon, the three Labour MPs have said: “This shocking move has been made without warning, notice, or consultation, in a deliberate attempt to undercut the wages and conditions of British seafarers.”

They add that they believe the lock-in is “entirely justified given the presence of private security companies engaged by DP World standing by to enforce the stealing of jobs from current officers and crew”.

“There is an immediate need for strong action on the part of the UK Government,” the trio said.

“We urge you to use all powers available to ensure P&O and DP World change their current course.

“We cannot allow a dangerous precedent to be set, all the more so on transport routes which are strategically vital to the UK.

“The replacement crews should be immediately stood down.”

It is expected that there will be a statement to the House of Commons later this afternoon and Mr Shapps has said he is “concerned”.

He tweeted earlier today: “We will be speaking to the company today to understand the impact on workers and passengers.”