‘Betrayal’ as P&O Ferries makes 1,100 redundant

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Around 1,100 workers at P&O Ferries to be made redundant as part of plan to make business ‘viable and sustainable’

Around 1,100 workers at P&O Ferries are to be made redundant as part of a plan to make the business ‘viable and sustainable’. 

The proposal involves more than a quarter of the workforce losing their jobs, the firm said. 

Travel restrictions have resulted in a collapse in passengers on its routes, which include Dover to Calais, Hull to Rotterdam and Liverpool to Dublin. 

Stormy weather: Travel restrictions have resulted in a collapse in passengers on P&O’s routes

P&O also transports 15 per cent of all goods in and out of the UK. But a number of ships have been taken out of service as the company fights for survival. 

A spokesman for P&O Ferries, which is owned by Dubai-based DP World, said: ‘Regrettably, therefore, due to the reduced number of vessels we are operating and the ongoing downturn in business, we are beginning consultation proceedings to make around 1,100 of our colleagues redundant.’ 

It emerged in early April that P&O Ferries was seeking a £150m bailout from the Government to avoid collapse, but no offer was made. 

It is understood the firm’s proposal was based on running its full complement of 21 ships. 

But the company is now only operating 15 vessels, with reduced frequency, and expects to reach an agreement with the Government for a lower amount of money to secure critical supply routes. 

It emerged last month that DP World was set to pay shareholders a £270m dividend. P&O began operating ferries in the 1960s. 

Before the pandemic, its ships carried 8.4m passengers on 27,000 sailings a year across the Channel, North Sea and Irish Sea. 

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT union, said: ‘This is devastating news and an appalling betrayal of the P&O workforce. What is utterly shameful is P&O have been kept afloat by our members and the taxpayer whilst their owners have been paying out hundreds of millions in dividends in Dubai. The biggest fear is that these jobs will never return to Dover or Hull.’


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