Dover chaos as huge queues of traffic line roads into port amid P&O jobs axe

Holidaymakers have been stuck in grid-lock for hours due to the ferry company's suspension of its services

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Chaos has erupted in Dover, as huge queues of traffic line the roads leading up to the port amid a speculated jobs axe announcement from P&O Ferries.

Frustrated holidaymakers and lorry drivers have been stuck in gridlock for hours, unable to board their booked ships, as P&O suspend all their services.

The ferry operator halted the sailing of their ships this morning ahead of a "major announcement", which is understood to be the sacking of all their UK employees.

It is reported P&O will re-employ foreign agency staff to sail their ferries as a company spokesperson reassured customers it was not going into liquidation.

Lorries waiting to check in at the Port of Dover in Kent as P&O ferry services have suspended
Lorries waiting to check in at the Port of Dover in Kent as P&O ferry services have suspended
Three P&O ferries, Spirit of Britain, Pride of Canterbury and Pride of Kent moor up in the cruise terminal at the Port of Dover in Kent
Three P&O ferries, Spirit of Britain, Pride of Canterbury and Pride of Kent moor up in the cruise terminal at the Port of Dover in Kent

P&O Ferries wrote on Twitter: “Regretfully, P&O Ferries services are unable to run for the next few hours.

“Our port teams will guide you and travel will be arranged via an alternative operator.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this will have on your journey plans.”

One driver, who has been waiting to board his ferry since 6am, said there was no guidance from P&O.

“More than anything I’m frustrated at the fact nobody from P&O was there to help and advise… I’ve never had such shoddy service from anybody,” he said from Calais while waiting to return to the UK.

The driver, who had to rebook his journey and pay for another ticket at a higher price, added: “I would have appreciated somebody at least telling us what to do."

Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) general secretary Roz Foyer has described the move from P&O, which has nearly 4,000 employees, as "damning and outrageous".

“We cannot – and will not – permit hundreds of workers to be sacked on the spot to be replaced by cheaper labour whilst P&O scramble to remain viable," Ms Foyer added.

GB News reporter Anna Riley has said P&O staff are now staging a sit-in on one of the ships to protest the alleged redundancies.

Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary, Mick Lynch, said he is "deeply concerned" over the company's speculated plans to sack all their UK workers.

Mr Lynch said: "We have instructed our members to remain onboard and are demanding our members across P&O’s UK operations are protected, and that the Secretary of State intervenes to save UK seafarers from the dole queue.”