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New P&O crew on less than £2 an hour, union claims

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Indian agency workers hired to replace P&O Ferries crews in Dover are being paid £1.81 an hour, a union claims.

Indian company employees employed to interchange P&O Ferries crews in Dover are being paid £1.81 an hour, a union claims.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) mentioned the low pay was a “shocking exploitation” and “a betrayal of those who have been sacked”.

P&O mentioned the determine was inaccurate however mentioned it couldn’t remark on how a lot companies pay employees on ferries.

Some of P&O’s ferries are registered in Cyprus, that means they don’t have to pay the minimal wage required by UK legislation.

Firms utilizing UK ports usually register ships in different international locations, permitting them to pay decrease wages.

The minimal wage within the UK for individuals aged 23 and above is £8.91 per hour.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps instructed Parliament: “Maritime employees have not, in this country, indeed throughout much of the world, received some of the same benefits and protections that exist otherwise for workers and this simply not good enough and it’s a practice we have been seeking to end.”

He mentioned ships in UK waters operated below worldwide legislation ruled by treaties, so UK legislation didn’t all the time apply.

“These complications allow for employers to take advantage in a way that we’ve seen I think with P&O Ferries,” Mr Shapps added.

Mr Shapps instructed MPs that he first came upon concerning the prospect of P&O redundancies at 20:30 GMT the night earlier than the employees had been being sacked, however he mentioned it wasn’t till he was on the despatch field the following day that he was made absolutely conscious of the size.

Previously, officers on the Department of Transport had instructed the BBC that Mr Shapps and the maritime minister Robert Courts had not been knowledgeable till Thursday.

Shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh mentioned authorities ministers had “completely failed to act” and the reported charges of pay had been “nothing short of a betrayal of the workers who protected this country’s supply chain during the pandemic”.

‘Experienced seafarers’

A spokesman for P&O mentioned security was the utmost precedence and the brand new crewing administration mannequin was utilized by many rivals.

“They have recruited high-quality experienced seafarers, who will now familiarise themselves with the ships, going through all mandatory training requirements set out by our regulators,” he mentioned.

Mr Shapps mentioned the federal government was reviewing all of its contracts with P&O Ferries.

He had requested the insolvency service whether or not P&O had adopted guidelines for redundancies – and if they’d not, “that would be a matter for criminal prosecution and unlimited fines”.

Mr Shapps additionally instructed MPs P&O Ferries ought to take away British references from their ships in the event that they exchange sacked employees with non-UK employees.

The Spirit of Britain, Pride of Canterbury and Pride of Hull are among the many names used for the operator’s ferries.

The Transport Secretary instructed MPs it could be “completely inappropriate” for the corporate to “attach themselves to this country” with out having British employees.

Protests

Protests came about near Parliament and likewise exterior the London workplaces of P&O homeowners, DP World on Monday.

John, a former seafarer with P&O Ferries based mostly in Dover mentioned the redundancies had been “a catastrophe” for all crew concerned and he desires the corporate’s chief govt to resign.

“An organization who had constructed up its popularity over 180 years simply to be trashed in a single single morning of insanity by these accountable.

“It’s not just a job, it’s a home and to be kicked off the ship in the most unceremonious way…it’s a catastrophe for all our lives,” John, who didn’t wish to give his surname, added.

He expects to lose his severance pay for talking out to media, however mentioned he “knew the difference between right and wrong”.

RMT basic secretary Mick Lynch mentioned P&O employees had been “being replaced by exploited workers, vulnerable workers from overseas”.

“We have no beef with those people. We want those people to be paid the wages that we’ve negotiated for in this country,” he mentioned.

The union has known as for a boycott of P&O providers and is urging the federal government to have a look at authorized choices to reinstate the sacked employees.

Ferries between Liverpool and Dublin have restarted and different routes are anticipated to observe by the top of the week.

Services had been stopped on Thursday after P&O introduced in a video call that 800 staff were being sacked with rapid impact.

The M20 in Kent will shut between junctions 8 and 9 from 20:00 GMT whereas a barrier system is put in place to handle any disruption brought on by P&O freight, National Highways mentioned.

The motorway is anticipated to reopen at 06:00 GMT on Tuesday when lorries heading for the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel will use the coastbound carriageway on the M20, the place will probably be queued if crucial.

All different visitors – together with native freight and automobile drivers headed for the continent – ought to observe the indicators and cross over to enter the contraflow on the M20 London sure carriageway, National Highways mentioned.

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New P&O crew on less than £2 an hour, union claims

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