P&O Ferries suspends sailings but denies liquidation reports
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.
And lo, with one brief video clip, every management and HR training course on what not to do suddenly has to be rewritten #pandoferrieshttps://twitter.com/bbcsoutheast/status/1504450370675908608\u00a0\u2026
Funny isn't it how management are safe but the people who do the real work and hard graft get sacked within an instant. How about you get rid of all the overpaid management on huge bonuses and maybe you wouldn't have such massive losses
Disgusting! If the business needs to make changes to survive, fine - but to just suddenly without warning or consultation DROP its staff to bring in cheap labour is abhorrent and shows a complete lack of care for a previously dedicated workforce. #pandoferries @KarlTurnerMPhttps://twitter.com/bbcsoutheast/status/1504450370675908608\u00a0\u2026
Disgraceful behaviour from #PandOFerries solidarity with all the workers affected. \n\nThe whole labour movement has your back, do what you need to do.\n\nSolidarity! @RMTunion @nautilusinthttps://twitter.com/bbcsoutheast/status/1504450370675908608\u00a0\u2026
This is horrendous. \n\n#Solidarity to all P&O Ferries staff and all power to @RMTunion in getting justice for those workers.\n\n#JoinAUnionhttps://twitter.com/bbcsoutheast/status/1504450370675908608\u00a0\u2026
— The Wee Ginger Sociologist (@The Wee Ginger Sociologist)
Siri - show me a company committing suicide and destroying all customer goodwill in one video. Stay classy P&O.https://twitter.com/bbcsoutheast/status/1504450370675908608\u00a0\u2026
Treating employees like dirt will come back to haunt you @POferries @POferriesPR \n\nA shameless, disgusting and classless way to treat your employeeshttps://twitter.com/bbcsoutheast/status/1504450370675908608\u00a0\u2026