Middlesbrough MP who quit Starmer’s front bench on principle over decent wages for low-paid people on fire again for mistreated seafarers
Middlesbrough Labour MP Andy McDonald was on fire today when, as a member of the parliamentary Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, he had the opportunity to question Peter Hebblethwaite, the boss of P&O Ferries, which summarily sacked hundreds of workers last week without notice or consultation – and with handcuff-armed security guards to drag staff off their ships if they tried to mount industrial action against its banditry.
McDonald, a former Shadow Transport Secretary and Shadow Secretary for Employment Rights and Protections who quit Keir Starmer’s front bench after Starmer ordered him to argue at the party’s conference against the decent living wage demanded by unions, started his dismantling of Hebblethwaite by asking him whether he is grossly incompetent or a criminal.
And he went on to extract shocking and damning admissions that P&O’s management knew full well that they were breaking the law and chose to do it anyway:
Hebblethwaite, who admitted he is paid a massive salary and refused to say whether he would accept a bonus from P&O’s parent company if offered it, also claimed that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been informed in advance about the planned criminality and did not intervene.
Mr McDonald told Skwawkbox:
P&O boss Peter Hebblethwaite’s astonishing admission that he knowingly decided to break the law of the land and not consult with unions over intended dismissals took the breath away.
He thinks breaking the law and gagging the workforce is simply the price of doing business. He, and his bosses Dubai’s DPWorld need to be shown that they have very badly miscalculated. But what this really shows is just how weak our company and employment laws are and if workers are ever to be treated with dignity and respect then they need a New Deal for Working People and they need it now.
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