Furious Hull MP demands P&O repays Covid aid to UK 'They've had £15m'

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Labour MP Karl Turner has slammed the “deplorable” actions of P&O Ferries after its decision to sack 800 seafarers. Unions and politicians condemned the move, blamed by the company on losses of £100 million following the slump in travel because of the pandemic. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) is seeking legal advice to challenge the sackings.

Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Mr Turner said: “I think the Government should be looking is suspend any contracts they’ve got with P&O Ferries and DP World.

“This is a business owned in Dubai by the state of Dubai effectively and we’re still got contracts with that business.

“We should cancel them.

“This business has had £15million from the British taxpayer during the pandemic to help them.

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“That money should be clawed back immediately and the Government should legislate urgently to stop fire and rehire.

“This isn’t really fire and rehire because those men and women haven’t really got the opportunity to apply for those jobs.

“It’s fire and replace them with exploited foreign workers who frankly are a couple of quid an hour, it’s deplorable.”

Announcing the decision on Thursday, the ferry operator, bought by Dubai-based logistics giant DP World in 2019, insisted the decision to cut jobs was “very difficult but necessary” as it was “not a viable business” in its current state.

“P&O’s decision to lay off 800 workers is a kick in the teeth to the hard-working members of staff who have kept the business running through the global health crisis.

“The RMT has received reports that security guards at Dover have boarded ships with handcuffs to remove crew so they can be replaced with cheaper labour. This union is horrified that P&O Ferries can treat their loyal workforce in such a despicable manner.

“P&O Ferries claimed almost £15 million in Government grants in 2020, which included furlough payments for its employees. P&O is owned by DP World, the multi-national ports and logistics company based in Dubai. It paid a £270 million dividend to shareholders in 2020.

“This appalling situation has arisen as a result of DP World wishing to maximise their profits and the failure of the Government to intervene and protect the jobs of you and your colleagues.

“Your union is seeking advice on what legal action can be taken.”



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