'What about Brexit?' Farage blasts P&O as all UK crew to be replaced by cheaper workers

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The controversial move has sparked outrage from politicians and workers, many of whom have refused to leave the ships they are passengers on. This has led to incredible scenes of security guards with handcuffs being deployed to remove them. Britain’s busiest port Dover is now experiencing severe delays as a result, with threats of a standoff as trade unions urged their members to defy any instructions to leave P&O ships.

The UK Government, as well as several MPs and opposition party members, have heavily criticised P&O over how it has handled the announcement.

Now, Mr Farage has joined those rounding on the ferry giant, with the outspoken former MEP raging the move from P&O completely destroys what Brexit is all about.

He wrote on Twitter: “It is disgrace that cheap foreign workers will replace 800 sacked P&O Ferries staff.

“Brexit was about putting our people first.”

The shocking news of the 800 seafarers being sacked was delivered to P&O workers via a pre-recorded video message, which saw a company executive announce: “The company has been struggling financially for the past few years and has lost about £100million each year for the last two years.

“Whilst these losses have been covered by P&O’s parent company DP World it’s clearly not sustainable for the future. The business cannot continue to operate like this so it has had to consider a range of different options to drastically reduce costs.

“These circumstances have resulted in a very difficult but necessary decision to restructure P&O’s workforce and operations in order to protect the future of the business.

“This was only taken after seriously considering all of the available options.

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“The company has made the decision that its vessel going forward will be primarily crewed by a third party crew provider.

“Therefore I am sorry to inform you that this means your employment is terminated with immediate effect on the grounds of redundancy. Your final day of employment is today.”

He continued in the clip: “P&O Ferries is offering you an enhanced severance package which is well beyond the statutory requirements and the redundancy terms within your collective bargaining agreement.

“The enhanced severance payment will be made to you in April this year subject to you signing a settlement agreement by March 31 and complying in full with its terms and conditions.”

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Transport minister Robert Courts launched a scathing attack against P&O upon hearing the news to replace the 800 workers with cheaper agency staff.

Making an emergency statement to the House of Commons, he said: “Reports of workers being given zero notice and escorted off their ships with immediate effect while being told cheaper alternatives would take up their roles shows the insensitive way in which P&O have approached this issue, a point I have made crystal clear to P&O’s management when I spoke to them earlier this afternoon.

“I am extremely concerned and frankly angry at the way workers have been treated by P&O.”

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer told BBC Radio Humberside: “It just makes my blood boil. It is a complete betrayal of the workforce. It’s just disgusting.

“This is a company that had furlough during the Covid crisis. It is absolutely disgusting what they are trying to do. They mustn’t be allowed to get away with it.

“I just wish the Government had done what we said and strengthened employment rights so they couldn’t do this kind of thing.

“The Government said it was going to deal with this sort of situation. It hasn’t done it.”



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