Unions have accused the federal government of doing “absolutely nothing” to strengthen staff’ protections a 12 months after the sackings of practically 800 P&O Ferries staff with out discover.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) mentioned promised sanctions following the controversial dismissals did not materialise.
It warned there have been “gaping holes” within the new Seafarers Bill and ministers had failed to shut loopholes in minimal wage regulation, warning with out authorities motion, one other P&O Ferries-style “scandal” may occur.
The union federation set out 4 breaches of regulation by P&O Ferries it claimed had gone unpunished – an obligation to seek the advice of over redundancies, unfair dismissal of staff, failure to inform the related authorities authorities, and breach of director duties.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is staging rallies in Dover and Hull to mark the anniversary of the “illegal and deplorable” mass sackings.
P&O’s resolution to fireplace 786 crew members with out discover or session over Zoom final March and substitute them with less expensive company staff sparked widespread outrage.
There was recent condemnation this week because the Dubai-based proprietor of the ferry operator, DP World, mentioned its annual revenue elevated by 37% in 2022.
It reported $1.23bn in internet revenue for the 12 months ending 31 December – up from $896m in 2021. Revenue grew by 58.9% to $17.1bn.
‘Free move for rogue employers’
The TUC mentioned pressing motion was wanted to clamp down on “fire and rehire” type practices.
Its common secretary Paul Nowak mentioned the federal government appreciated to “talk the talk” on defending staff however has achieved “absolutely nothing” because the P&O sackings.
He mentioned: “The mass sacking by P&O Ferries was a national scandal. It should have marked a new chapter for employment rights in the UK, but this Conservative government has failed working people and given rogue employers a free pass to act with impunity.
“Despite behaving like company gangsters, P&O Ferries has been allowed to get away scot-free due to our lax labour legal guidelines.
“Instead of boosting worker protections and closing legal loopholes, ministers sat on their hands and did next to nothing, and to add insult to injury, ministers are now actively borrowing from the P&O Ferries playbook.
“They are openly attacking the best to strike and threatening to tear up hard-won staff’ rights like vacation pay, equal pay for ladies and men and relaxation breaks.
“Without stronger regulation, another P&O Ferries style scandal is on the cards.”
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A P&O Ferries spokesperson mentioned the corporate had invested £250m in its fleet, including: “Significant changes in the last year have saved this business, including the 2,200 jobs we secured in coastal communities across the UK. As a result, we are now serving the needs of our passenger and freight customers much better than ever before.”
A authorities spokesperson mentioned: “We reacted swiftly and decisively against P&O Ferries’ appalling treatment of its staff, and have made substantial progress on the nine-point plan we set out last year to improve seafarers’ pay and conditions.
“Having introduced ahead laws to make sure seafarers are paid no less than an equal to the UK nationwide minimal wage, and establishing a brand new statutory code to discourage ‘hearth and rehire’, we at the moment are working with our close to European neighbours to additional shield their welfare and pay.”