Analysis Breaking News

Breaking: P&O triggers ports crisis by sacking whole workforce by zoom to replace with cheap labour

RMT union mounts sit-in on ships as company sends in masked strike-busters with handcuffs

The P&O ferry company has triggered a ports crisis by sacking almost its entire seafaring workforce of 800 workers via Zoom message in order to replace them with cheap foreign labour:

Unions have mounted a sit-in on P&O vessels in response, to prevent cheap replacement crews accessnig the bessels, but there are reports that the company has sent in masked strike-busters from a security contractor, armed with handcuffs to physically wrestle workers from the ships. A leaked company email reveals that the company arranged this well in advance of springing the news on workers:

Skwawkbox view:

Absolute solidarity with the sacked P&O workers against such cynical abuse that demonstrates this country’s further slide into oppression and exploitation.

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  1. Fruits of the Tory government SIR Starmer & gang of Mandelson, Ian Austin, Blunkett, Straw, WMD Blair, Hodge, Coyle, Lammy et al OPENLY worked “night and day” to bring about by OPENLY sabotaging GE 2019.

    1. ps. need to dbl check, but if not mistaken, P&O has DEEP tory links. ALSO this dreadful treatmeant of their staff reminds me of reports of horrific treatmeant of workers in Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf tyrannies

      I would be AMAZED if SIR Keith Starmer utters even one meaningful word and took DECISIVE actions to stop this latest gross abuse of workers.

      Don’t hold your breaths. Starmer is AGAINST “The Many” and a DEVOTED tool of “The Few”. He and his gang were NEVER for conversion⛔️⛔️⛔️

      1. What decisive action do you think that Jeremy would have taken to stop this gross abuse of workers if he had still been Leader of the Opposition?

      2. What an asinine question SteveH??? Your SIR Keith Starmer is supposed to be “leader” now.
        ps P&O is now owned by DP WORLD, a DUBAI own company which it is alleged took publicly funded Covid-19 furlough money.

      3. windchime – “What an asinine question SteveH???”

        Is that really the best ‘excuse’ you could come up with for not answering my quite legitimate question.

      4. ps. DUBAI PORTS WORLD took One Hundred and FIFTY MILLION GBP Covid-19 Furlough CASH💸

        DP World’s profits allegedly is in the TRILLIONS💸 The staff are employed by a JERSEY subsidiary company it is alleged. DP WORLD paid £250 million dividend to shareholders in 2020.
        Irish Ferries seafarers suffered a similarly horrendous treatment in the 1990s, i hear. Nicola Sturgeon has already spoken PERSONALLY to DP WORLD bosses to express her clear disapproval.

        I hope she uses all her abilities to help these wronged workers. Sir Starmer will not lift a finger to help them.

      5. Kettle to pot, come in.

        “Is that really the best ‘excuse’ you could come up with for not answering my quite legitimate question.”

        Says the amateur troll who spends his entire existence on this site deflecting, projecting, and avoiding answering any question which challenges the fantasy realities which exist only in his own head.

      6. Corbyn…or any leader who actually supported the values of the Labour Party- would have mobilized public opposition to this and quite possibly forced the government to stop what they are doing- just as he repeatedly defeated government bills in the HoC.

        No voters are going to reward Keir for not even trying to stop this, not even speaking out against it. The latest polls show Keir’s largely-imaginary “lead”- the one that essentially never manifested itself in actual by-elections at any level- is nearly gone.

        It turns out the voters DIDN’T want Labour to blur the differences down to essentially nothing.

        But you’ve known that all along.

        And you’re obsession with demonising Corbyn for not being able to lead his party to victory when most of the PLP cared about nothing at all but ousting him as leader- something that the current trend of rapidly-declining Labour support in the polls prove was never going to be the key to a Labour comeback at all- and you clearly never wanted a Labour government. It’s not even clear that you really want a Starmer government- a government which, as even you would have to concede now- would not be Labour in any recognisable sense..

      7. SteveH: “What decisive action do you think that Jeremy would have taken to stop this gross abuse of workers

        As others(an particularly the incisive kenburch) have said, he would have
        i) informed public opinion on the fiercely anti-social and anti-person effects of the action, perhaps explaining that it results from capitalism’s unachievable need for ever-increasing profit margin.
        ii) Mobilised public opinion against the action (thereby causing them to recognise capitalism’s inherently anti-worker and anti-customer contradictions).
        iii) This would have forced HMG (and various other ‘agents’ of the billionaire interests) to NOT support (and enable) the action.

        I can’t believe that you don’t see that. Yet another instanceof clumsy black/white thinking where the wisdom derived from a myriad of grey tones is rejected by you.

        JC’s forced absense (by WEF-agent, Sir Keir Rodney Starmer) from the ‘political scene’ is making his eventual return all the more likely. (I suspect even his majority in Islington North will increase).

    1. They really don’t know when to stop do they? Everything is in meltdown. All we have to do to bring them to their senses is to not buy any P&O service. Fuck them.

  2. Is there any point left to the current Labour Party, other than enablement of this sort of breaking of any noncompliant workforce? Is a Starmer three-line whip in the pipeline?

    1. Martin Read, Starmer did exactly the same with Labour HQ staff. Fired them and rehired part time scab labour to replace them….

      There is no point to the Labour Party, it is a racist corrupt enterprise.

  3. The P&O boat in Cairnryan hasn’t budged. Which means the one in Larne can’t do either! Mor power to their elbow. As it happens, unusually, lots of crew were in our supermarket this morning having breakfast -bizarre as there ar echefs on board. Though on second thoughts the man I was talking to had an eastern European accent – perhaps one of the replacement crew (all their orange jackets were clean) …

    1. Keir Starmer Retweeted
      Louise Haigh
      This scandalous action shows sheer contempt for the workforce.
      Unscrupulous employers cannot be given free rein to sack workers and replace w/agency staff.
      Ministers must not give the green light to this appalling practice – they must act to secure jobs

      1. a TRUE “Labour” leader would not have sabotaged the GE2019 election and would have been speaking out and ACTING against the LONG lists of OPEN exploitation of workers and the OPEN Covid-19 banditry

        These workers, ALL workers, need ACTIONS to protect them. None of “The Many” need SIR Keith Starmer’s empty promises and pathetic tweets⚪️

      2. windchime – I asked above – What decisive action do you think that Jeremy would have taken to stop this gross abuse of workers if he had still been Leader of the Opposition?

      3. I’m sure P&O, along with the rest of the Capitalist Oligarchy in the UK and elsewhere are quaking in their hush puppies at the dire consequences arising from a fellow traveler and member of the Trilateral Commission retweeting a tweet.

        Is that the best you can offer stevH?

        And you reckon this is better than any response would be if Corbyn or someone like him were still LOTO?

        Yeah. Reyt!

      4. Dave – My understanding is there is SFA anyone in the UK can do about this. The reality is that the P&O workers employment contracts are subject to Jersey law not UK law

      5. That’ll do it. Stand easy, Max has retweeted a tweet! A bit like Boyo, solidarity.

      6. Wobbly – Bearing in mind that this wasn’t really on anybody’s radar until mid morning today (apart from the Tory government who knew yesterday that this was going to happen and did SFA) and that it wasn’t confirmed until mid afternoon then what decisive actions would you have liked Keir to take that you believe would have made a difference.

    2. JoeRobson, Sir Keith ALWAYS waits to feel where the wind is blowing on any issue like this. Only then will Sir issue some useless wind.🔶💢🔶💢🔶💢

      1. Still no hint from you about what decisive action should be taken.

    3. No, he’s too busy abstaining on the Employment Bill that allowed this to happen

      1. baz2001 – As I understand it these P&O seafarers contracts are subject to Jersey employment law not UK law.

  4. I find very sad that workers can be bought for £14.50 an hour to deprive other workers of gainful employment.
    No wonder the scabs are wearing masks, they wouldn’t want for their faces to be known, would they?
    P&O is doing on the cheap only hiring 16 scabs paying a total of £435 per scab. I wonder if the RMT could offer to pay £500 to each on the quiet no to do the job. Perhaps they all can say ” we ate something doggy we all have very bad diarrhae”.
    I agree with baz2001 we need to boycott P&O, it would bring management to their senses.

    1. What rate (average) are the RMT workers on to compare with the ‘scab’ rate? Are there additional none wage costs associayed with current employees? I can see this being a re run of the print unions battle v Murdoch! The problem is the ship operators will just liquidate if they can’t reduce costs and will voters support nationalisation and taxpayer subsidy of RMT jobs? Who knows.

      1. Plain citizen Ferrys are a two way street and the Newhaven \deippe route to france was operated by French subsidies and the port owned by Transmarche of france.Britain is not a bannana republic and this pirate operator cannot be allowed to do this after helping themselves to Taxpayers money for far too long.Jersey law does not bypass sovereignty which is the asset gleaned from the tory botched break with europe..This finaly is a job for a politician with a knowledge of law.That should be just up the dictators and the PLP s street with the Labour party bursting at the seams with the “bottom feeders…come on labour where are you?

  5. Disgusting, and with waiting cheap Labour overseas workers waiting in the wings and being used to take the current P & O workers jobs.
    A real Left Wing Democratic Socialist Party would argue for Govts to have a Cooperative Development Fund for P & O to be taken into public ownership and run as a workers cooperative.
    The Neo-Liberal Market Mad Tories would not be interested and Right Wing Labour would probably run a mile from this.
    I Remember a group of workers years ago being used to break a union and existing jobs but the local community talked to them and most went home and the jobs were saved, mass pickets in support needed plus community support!
    Under the Tories/Right Wing Labour yet another Unacceptable Face of Capitalism!

  6. I didn’t expect Starmer to be silent on this issue but I have noticed the silence on restoring the wide liberty to strike enacted by Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974 (as amended in 1976), successively restricted and regulated by all governments since then.

    1. Paul – Have you any suggestions about what actions Keir Starmer should be taking?

      1. He can support the RMT (speak to the workers); promise to restore the TULRA 1974/76, which would permit supportive industrial action (thus dockers unions could legally organize an embargo); promise to strengthen the law on agency labour re strike breaking.

      2. Non of which would make much if any practical difference to the current situation. Labour are not in power.

        Well he’s already offered his support by retweeting the response that Labour has issued via the Shadow Sec of State for Transport. I doubt that advocating that we live in the past (nearly ½ a century ago) is going to help anyone, have you read Labour’s excellent new Green Paper on Employment Rights.
        Have you checked Keir’s Twitter feed.

      3. He should support the RMT workers, ple) dge to nationalise the P&O so it can then be run by democratic worker management. He should also support the Coventry strikers and commit to repealing Thatcher’s anti-union and therefore anti-worker laws.

        The is no “middle ground” between workers and those who exploit them.

      4. Wobbly – I’m ‘sure’ that would have made a difference. Was there a picket to join?

  7. Utter disgrace. It’s sadly the result of 12 years of tory misrule.

  8. Rightly, contributors to this site are generally up in arms over this. With one exception. He just gets out the old cracked record and puts it on again. Would have been useless on Just A Minute – repetition, deviation.
    Boycott them. Stena and Irish Ferries are an alternative for the Irish Sea, if I ever get to go again.

    1. goldbach – After waiting for a good couple of hours from when I first became aware of this to see if Skwawkbox was going to publish an article about this I got fed-up of waiting and just after 1pm I drew attention on these pages to this despicable action by P&O and also expressed my surprise that nobody else had picked up on this outrage. This was long before this article was posted.

      1. goldbach – So I was drawing attention to this issue on these pages whilst you were sat there for several hours ‘twiddling your thumbs’ before deciding that the best contribution you could make was to accuse me of whatever. You’re a joke.

      2. My comment was not related to the fact that you got the news before anyone else here. Well done. 10 Brownie points. Unlike you, far from twiddling thumbs, I have had duties to perform in relation to a friend who needed help.
        I was referring to the fact that you are obsessed with relating every news item to Mr Corbyn. If you wish to defend Starmer then it is best to do so by convincing people that he is doing a good job rather than to ask people to speculate on what would have happened if his predecessor had still been leader.
        Oh, and don’t forget, David Gower. Have you looked it up yet. How to find things on the internet before anyone else is clearly a skill you possess – it’s talking sense which is lacking.

      3. goldbach – I simply asked what others thought that Jeremy might have done in this situation as a way of asking what they think Starmer should do. To date nobody has given me a credible reply. Have you got anything to offer.

      1. We have a house in Brittany so use Brittany Ferries, if going to a different part of Europe we use DFDS

  9. This scandalous labour leader shows sheer contempt for the workforce.


      1. Toffee – Did he really, do you have a quote?

        Hmmm…Let’s see now.

        An industrial dispute….In Coventry?

        The pride people have in Burnley cannot be underestimated?

        No ifs, no buts, no equivocation?

        As well as a point-blank refusal to sign Unite’s letter demanding an end to fire & rehire.

        A refusal to support a £15p/h NMW

        Amongst MANY other things


        Now shut the fuck up.

  10. “Without these changes there is no future for P&O Ferries.” Obviously the sentence should have read “With these changes there is no future for P&O Ferries.” The hypocritical guff that oozes out of its expensively produced Corporate Social Responsibility document should be waved in the faces of the executives who presided over this and no opportunity missed to insert into conversation phrases such as “shameful and heartless employers, like P&O Ferries,”. A disgrace.

  11. * Nationalise without compensation.
    * Occupy all vessels.
    * Seize all port facilities.

  12. One of the great tragedies of the 2017 general election is that Austin managed to hold his seat. It enabled him to attack the Labour Party a great deal next time.

    “Office of the Chancellor of the Exchequer;

    Austin was appointed a political advisor to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (later Prime Minister), Gordon Brown, in 1999. He held the position until his election in 2005, and was known as one of Brown’s closest lieutenants.”

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