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P&O Ferries

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P&O Ferries

Old 17th Mar 2022, 14:12
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P&O Ferries

I can understand that if a company is losing huge sums of money, changes have to be made, but I'm not so sure that P&O Ferries' way is the way to go. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60779001

For one, sacking all the staff and bringing in cheaper agency worker seems a recipe for disaster, just from a safety point of view alone. How can they expect to run a service when none of the staff know the systems or where things are? I don't think I would be happy sailing on one of their ferries and I think that if there is competition on the route, people would take the alternative and that means the ferries will lose even more money.

I doubt that P&O Cruises will be happy either as people will think that it is the same company and will likely suffer from people choosing other lines because they think that their cruises might be in danger.

I feel for the staff though. Difficult times ahead.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 14:16
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That's nasty stuff. Hope the Crews and TUs can do something to fix it!
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 14:28
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Aren't all seamen certificated in some way? They can't just turn up and operate a ship surely?
I know its different for privately operated boats; I was amazed when I bought my boat and there was no requirement for training or anything even if I was sailing on the open sea.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 14:31
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From BBC News:

They [the Maritime Executive] pointed to the fact that British and French seafarers are particularly expensive to employ compared to foreign staff.

Hmmm, let's re-word that to: Foreign staff are cheaper to employ than British and French seafarers.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 15:00
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Let's do the sums.

P&O Ferries lost £100m last year. Say across all 800 people losing their jobs earn on average £40k p/a making £3.2m plus, say 15% employment expenses - being generous call it £4m 'saving', except its not as they'll most probably need replacing 1 for 1. Hardly a dent in £100m is it?

In reality this is nothing more or less than a disgusting way of increasing dividend to the Arab owners and has nothing to do with saving the business or returning it to viability.

The unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 15:32
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I assume P&O is a registered UK business and therefore employees are covered by UK employment law which, on the face of it, would seem to make this action illegal.

In UK you can't just sack someone, you have to follow due process. On the other hand, if they were made redundant, rather than sacked, then there is still due process plus the accompanying redundancy payouts and you can't employ someone else to fill the gap, not without at least changing the name of the position you're filling.

Now, if they're not actually employees of P&O but are contracted in then all bets are off I'm afraid.

Sounds like a good one for employment lawyers to resolve to me.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 15:34
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
Let's do the sums.

P&O Ferries lost £100m last year. Say across all 800 people losing their jobs earn on average £40k p/a making £3.2m plus, say 15% employment expenses - being generous call it £4m 'saving', except its not as they'll most probably need replacing 1 for 1. Hardly a dent in £100m is it?
.


Whoops ! Try £ 32 milion.and £ 40 million.: this here "doing the sums " is a tricky business !
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 15:44
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Originally Posted by Tartiflette Fan View Post
Whoops ! Try £ 32 milion.and £ 40 million.: this here "doing the sums " is a tricky business !
Whoops! I did it mentally, questioned myself and then convinced myself it was right!

Must apply for a job in the treasury!
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 15:57
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I'm sure on board customer facing staff would be British or French at expensive rates, however engineers, stokers and back office food staff will be cheaper foreign nationals.
I assume they were also sacked...
Are P&O actually doing this for a UK Government hand out to keep the jobs rather than them appearing on the Unemployed stats??
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 16:05
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Yes but who really cares? do you really expect people about to book a crossing to take this into consideration?

That's (one of) the problem with the Market Driven Economy model, we have the fantastic advantage of being able to 'vote' with our pocketbooks, but generally speaking all we care about is the lowest price

It's the unspoken part of the "Buy UK Made" or "Made in America" slogans that get trotted out before elections. Sure that's a great idea and something we should do, but the people running on those slogans never point out that either ( i ) things will cost more or ( ii ) UK or US wages (and safety/environmental protocols) will have to be reduced to match those of our foreign competitors

Last edited by Sue Vêtements; 17th Mar 2022 at 16:17.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 16:14
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
Let's do the sums.

P&O Ferries lost £100m last year. Say across all 800 people losing their jobs earn on average £40k p/a making £3.2m plus, say 15% employment expenses - being generous call it £4m 'saving', except its not as they'll most probably need replacing 1 for 1. Hardly a dent in £100m is it?

In reality this is nothing more or less than a disgusting way of increasing dividend to the Arab owners and has nothing to do with saving the business or returning it to viability.

The unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism.
When employing staff you should work on a 40% mark up to their wage. Employers NI is 13.8%, pension, holiday/ sickness cover, uniform, payroll/personel etc.. In France the fiqure for any employer is 70%.
Sacking the staff based in France will be hard unless the law there has changed recently..
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 16:36
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Thankfully, the UK Transport Minister, Shapps, is reportedly "concerned "....although "confused " would probably be more accurate.

Sadly, Grayling will not be appearing out of the Channel fog with a mythical fleet seen only in times of crisis.

Taken from the BBC report.

" P&O is owned by DP World, the multi-national ports and logistics company based in Dubai. It paid a £270m dividend to shareholders in 2020."

This has to be one of the most brazen acts of corporate disdain in history. Sacked by video link, ok, this has been done before, quite recently in the US I recall, but to give, as reported, no warning and have replacement crews and "security ", read any thug who's got any black clothing, badged or otherwise, on the docks ready to board once the announcement was made shows a calculating and despotic "management" ....presumably they thought the crews would simply capitulate, nod their heads meekly and just disembark...and that both UK and French employment laws didn't apply to them.

Stena may be quietly grateful on the Irish Sea routes with freight traffic having been decimated by the ramifications of Brexit, but that's not going to help the crews now suddenly made redundant just when inflation and a soaring cost of living crisis is escalating in the UK.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 16:46
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
This has to be one of the most brazen acts of corporate disdain in history. Sacked by video link, ok, this has been done before, quite recently in the US I recall
If we’re thinking of the same event, at least the US one was ‘live’ via video, albeit brief. This one was by recorded video! Reportedly they planned to enforce a load of redundancies about the time Covid hit, but appear to have decided to suck in as much of Rishi’s cash as possible before doing it anyway!
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 17:01
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The usual uplift between salary and total cost to the employer is an additional 27%. It will vary between employers due to pension schemes etc. but it's a good enough approximation.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 17:28
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How are P+O able to bring in all of those replacement workers en masse under the current immigration regs ?

El Grifo
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 17:30
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Been using P&O twixt Hull and Rotterdam for the last 25 years or so, up to eight times a year. Handy when we lived in NL and now on The Island as it's only 75mins drive to Hull. However, if that's the way they treat their staff then I will cease using them. I remember about three years ago they ditched all the Portuguese restaurant staff, whom we knew as friends and replaced them with Asians who are friendly but probably cheaper. Money seems to be the bottom line here but reading about the shareholder dividends paid out last year, greed would be a better word. They should not get away with this. Very sad for all concerned and a warning for others in this hostile, modern world.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 17:49
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I do wonder if dockworkers will refuse to handle them, then they will be royally screwed.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 17:55
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When I was working, I would have resigned rather than carry out "dismissals" like that.
Does the Co not have solicitors?? - That all sounded very, very unlawful.
For business reasons, I have been involved in letting too many people go - but never in such an awful way. I do hope they get decent compensation.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 18:06
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
I do wonder if dockworkers will refuse to handle them, then they will be royally screwed.
I would say that is a distinct possibility. Unite are probably the dockworkers union of choice and I doubt they will sh1t on RMT members.

Generally I abhor union militancy but in this case I hope P&O get a very bloody nose.
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Old 17th Mar 2022, 18:34
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Originally Posted by El Grifo View Post
How are P+O able to bring in all of those replacement workers en masse under the current immigration regs ?

El Grifo
Now that's a very good question. Presumably it will be asked elsewhere and the charmless Ms Patel will kindly explain they are nice and welcome foreigners who aren't actually working in the UK but are working on ships sailing across the Channel.... which is very different...or some other equally implausible reason.

To judge from the reports, the public backlash has already begun in earnest....surely they couldn't be that arrogant to assume the public wouldn't object...seemingly so it appears.

However, given this is JB and "the damned unions left wing rabble !! "usually get castigated for no valid reason, it's amusing to read this sudden support, even more so when the RMT are involved.

Take it this support will still be offered when the proposed series of rail industrial actions start later this year ?
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