Representatives of the sacked P&O Ferries staff and Trade Union supporters gathered today (Saturday 19th March) on the Comedy Carpet to stage a protest following the company’s instant sacking of 800 employees last week. Nearly a quarter of P&O Ferries’ staff were told via a video message on Thursday that it was their final day of employment. They were given no advance notice or prior warning of this immediate sacking.
P&O said it took the difficult decision as a last resort to save the business. But unions have hit out against the dismissal, saying it marked a ‘dark day’ in the shipping industry.
Not only Trade Unions but also many cross-party MPs have described P&O Ferries’ actions as ‘callous’ and ‘disgraceful’.
A Government spokesperson said that this action by P&O Ferries is being looking at ‘very closely’ to see if the company broke any laws in firing 800 employees, and replacing them with cheaper agency staff.
Local anti-fracking groups also took the opportunity to make their voices heard.