SEAFARERS union RMT has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, to demand a meeting to discuss the government’s failure to take action against P&O Ferries after it broke the law in dismissing nearly 800 seafarers in March and replaced them with agency crew.
Despite the illegal sackings, the Ministry of Defence has spent £50,000 making over 300 bookings on P&O services which are now crewed with exploited agency crews flown in to work months solid for under £4 per hour.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that the government had completely failed to penalise P&O or any of the other low-cost operators.
He said: ‘Ministers regularly express their anger and commitment to tackle P&O Ferries and DP World but nothing has been done to reverse these actions or to close loopholes in order to prevent a repeat of this outrageous action.
‘The outgoing Prime Minister also told the Commons on March 23 that the government was taking legal action against P&O but, despite these grand public statements, P&O has not been prosecuted and no ferry operators have been suspended.
‘The government points to international maritime law as a barrier to taking action against P&O yet DP World has posted a record £600 million profit in the first half of this year and P&O Ferries CEO Peter Hebblethwaite has been promoted to the board of P&O and publicly praised by DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.
‘It is also shocking to learn that the Ministry of Defence has spent public money on P&O Ferries services and it continues to receive support from the taxpayer.’
- The RMT announced yesterday that US Senator Bernie Sanders, who is on a visit to the UK, will be taking time out to join a RMT rally in solidarity with transport workers and their fight for a decent public transport system.
The Save London Transport Rally will take place on Wednesday 31 August in central London at TUC Headquarters, Congress House at 7.00pm.