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P&O Ferries Responds To Backlash After Sacking 800 Staff Over Zoom

Daisy Phillipson

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| Last updated 

P&O Ferries Responds To Backlash After Sacking 800 Staff Over Zoom

P&O Ferries has broken its silence following backlash about its decision to sack 800 of its UK staff.

Yesterday (17 March), a video emerged showing the moment hundreds of staff were told they'd lost their jobs over Zoom.

The company has now responded the the criticism, with a spokesperson for P&O Ferries saying today (18 March): "We know that for our staff this redundancy came without warning or prior consultation, and we fully understand that this has caused distress for them and their families.

“We took this difficult decision as a last resort and only after full consideration of all other options but, ultimately, we concluded that the business wouldn’t survive without fundamentally changed crewing arrangements, which in turn would inevitably result in redundancies.

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“We also took the view, in good faith, that reaching agreement on the way forward would be impossible and against this background, that the process itself would be highly disruptive, not just for the business but for UK trade and tourism.

“We have offered enhanced severance terms to those affected to properly and promptly compensate them for the lack of warning and consultation.

"The changes we've made bring us into line with standard industry practice."

The statement continued: "All affected crew who were working yesterday were notified face-to-face and in-person on board their vessels.

“For crew who were off, P&O Ferries made all efforts to notify them personally: they were individually called on the phone, as well as via email and text.

The company ordered all of its ships to dock. Credit: Alamy
The company ordered all of its ships to dock. Credit: Alamy

“Virtual meetings were also held but only 261 of our 800 affected staff were on those calls.

“To try to minimise disruption for our customers, we contacted everyone we could reach. If any passengers have any queries about travelling with us, we encourage them to get in touch with our customer services team.

“Our aim is to have the first of our services running again in the next day or two as we lose £1m a day for each day they are not moving.

“The teams escorting the seafarers off our vessels were totally professional in handling this difficult task with all appropriate sensitivity.

“Contrary to rumours, none of our people wore balaclavas nor were they directed to use handcuffs nor force.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Travel, UK News

Daisy Phillipson
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