RMT calls for P&O protesters to flock to Blackpool tomorrow for Tory conference

Outrage builds at ‘bandit’ behaviour toward workers after day of large port protests

Union leaders are calling for those disgusted at the conduct of P&O to flock to Blackpool tomorrow and descend on the Tories’ spring conference.

The ferry company summarily sacked its workers yesterday to replace them with cheap foreign labour – and a leaked email showed that the company had prepared well ahead, bringing in security staff with handcuffs to force sacked workers from their vessels, but there had been no consultations with unions. P&O has paid out hundreds of millions of pounds in dividends to shareholders despite asking for and receiving financial support from the government.

RMT regional official Darren Procter put out the call on social media:

Friday saw large protests in solidarity with P&O workers against what Manchester mayor Andy Burnham called the ‘banditry’ of the company – but even larger numbers and more pressure are required to force the government to do the right thing for the wronged employees and the country. The ferry business and the entire industry should be nationalised.


  1. Are comfortably off, right-wing union leaders concerned about losing revenues from membership subs? For the life of me, I cannot think of another reason for them waking from their slumber and getting off their fat arses to feign concern and speak up for workers’ rights.

  2. Fire and Rehire needs to be made illegal with heavy sentences and fines plus resolutions to this effect and supporting P & O workers need sending urgently.
    Need mass protests and things like a petition to get it urgently discussed in Parliament despite some suggesting the Tories and Starmer’s Labour are the Bosses Friends?
    The community also needs to talk to the contract workers to ask them to withdraw as they are being used by powerful people!
    There should also be a community boycott of the products of the Dubai company that owns P & O.
    Of course this all stems from Tory privatisation and Neo-Liberal New Labour’s lack of socialist practice in reversing it.
    Take the ferry industry into democratic public ownership with workers having a say and a P & O renamed company could make an effective workers cooperative.
    All Power To the P & O Workers!

  3. Brilliant!

    In addition, since the synchronised-MSM is hardly reporting the sacking, if every democratic socialist mentions it to at least two people they’d not usually mention current agffairs to, the word wil get out.

    1 – That P&O is mortivated by profit.
    2 – The the bulk (800 staff) sackings occurs on zoom.
    3 – That gangster capitalism is racing with itself on a road to the bottom. British jobs for cheaper workers.

    Household names like British Gas, BA, Weetabix, TESCO, ASDA and Clarks have been using ‘fire and rehire’ tactics to bully and intimidate their staff into accepting cuts to their pay and conditions for several years now. P&O Ferries is doing nothing new, just more blatantly.

  4. RMT via the TUC and the Irish Congress should organise a boycott of P&O. No member of any union (or any person with a social conscience for that matter)should use P&O until the dispute is resolved to the satisfaction of the members

  5. Is some good stuff on DP World on Wikipedia with revenues of $8.5b and assets of $26.5b.
    Apparently it tried to take over a US port in 2006 but this was blocked by the US Govt apparently “On security grounds.” (?) though Bush Senior at the time backed it, so obviously the Tories and New Labour may have had less scruples?
    There is a story here waiting to be told by any investigative journalists out there.

  6. “Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has also written to the ferry operator’s chairman demanding answers to P&O Ferries’ handling of the redundancies.
    In a letter to the company, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he was “deeply concerned” at the move and questioned whether it was legal.
    Mr Kwarteng’s letter to chairman Robert Woods claims the company did not follow the correct process in consulting with unions and staff representatives or in notifying him through the Insolvency Service and the Redundancy Payment Service.
    The letter says failure to notify is “a criminal offence and can lead to an unlimited fine”.
    A bad day when it’s left to Tories to highlight such things.

  7. Don’t expect Starmer the Savile Saver to support this, he refused to sign Unite’s letter that wanted to outlaw fire and rehire.

    1. baz2001 – You may have had a point if Keir Starmer and Labour hadn’t consistently fought to outlaw fire and rehire.

    1. ” CONFIRMED: I will Present this Petition in Parliament on Monday

      Thank you for signing my petition to scrap the Tory National Insurance hike and replace it with a Wealth Tax.

      It has just been confirmed that I will be able to present this petition in Parliament on Monday evening.

      Over 20,000 people have so far signed this petition.

      Please share it widely so we can try to get to 25,000 by Monday.

      In solidarity,

      Richard Burgon MP”

  8. Starmer is a compulsive liar…….Pledging support for the P&O workers when he fired Labour HQ staff and replaced them with scab labour.

    Labour is dead, killed by Starmer the Savile Saver.

  9. The parallel universe of Richard Burgon aside, and perhaps acknowledging that the uselessness of Starmer is self-evident here and good or ill, the man doesn’t really have any relevance anyway, the more pressing concern has to be supporting the evident point that the P&O scenario demonstrates why workers have rights and the consequences of them being ignored. The least disruptive resolution would be to bar the current P&O management from any form of management for 10 years, reinstate the workforce and agree with the owners that there is at least a 1 year moratorium before the viability of the company is considered and that, when do this , it is conducted with representation from staff as well as management.

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