P&O Ferries suspends sailings but denies liquidation reports
Independent TV

P&O Ferries has fired 800 workers with immediate effect because it is "not a viable business" after experiencing a "£100 million loss year on year."

The ferry operator has since suspended sailings "for the next few days", but unions have instructed workers on the ships not to leave.

In a statement on Thursday, P&O Ferries said: "In making this tough decision, we are securing the future viability of our business which employs an additional 2,200 people and supports billions in trade in and out of the UK.

"And we are ensuring that we can continue serving our customers in a way that they have demanded from us for many years."

Mark Dickinson, general secretary of maritime union Nautilus International, said: "The news that P&O Ferries is sacking the crew across its entire UK fleet is a betrayal of British workers.

"It is nothing short of scandalous given that this Dubai-owned company received millions of pounds of British taxpayers' money during the pandemic."

Workers were reportedly informed they were losing their jobs via video call and understandably, people outraged by the news.

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Many P&O workers were furloughed during the pandemic, with the government paying up to 80% of their wages.

Shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said: "This scandalous action shows sheer contempt for the workforce.

"Unscrupulous employers cannot be given free rein to sack workers and replace them with agency staff."

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