P&O Ferries rehire and hand wage increases to around 30 axed staff

The workers in Kent are believed to have been given their jobs back with a one-year contract through an agency

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Around 30 staff axed by P&O Ferries have been rehired and handed wage increases, GB News can reveal.

The workers in Kent are believed to have been given their jobs back with a one-year contract through an agency.

A P&O insider says the 30 employees in Dover – who include engineers, captains and deck hands - are training the new influx of £1.82-an-hour workers brought in to the replace the 800.

They told GB News: “P&O have told them they will have to train all these new people to do a number of jobs.

“It’s diabolical – a real slap in the face.

“These ferries are highly complex machines and they require years of training.

REUTERS/Paul Childs/File Photo
REUTERS/Paul Childs/File Photo

“The guys who have been rehired are being asked to teach the new influx how to run the ships – from how the machinery works to tying down the lorries to cleaning.”

The source went on: “The axed staff who have been rehired have been given one-year contracts.

“So that clearly means, ‘After that you’re out on your ear’.

“But they’ve enticed them in with a slightly higher wage than what they were on. They are now, however, doing a lot more work than they previously were.”

P&O’s axing of their staff and taking them back via an agency is known as the controversial practice of ‘fire and rehire’.

It normally involves employers dismissing their workers and offering their job back but with different terms and conditions, including a lower wage.

The latest development comes after the firm announced earlier this month it was suspending its services before making 800 people redundant and would be replacing them with cheaper staff from overseas.

P&O claimed it had lost £100million during the pandemic despite its owner, Dubai-based DP World, reporting profits of £2.9billion.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, which represents many of the 800 given the boot, has slammed the move.

No10 have backed calls for the chief executive of P&O Ferries, Peter Hebblethwaite, who admitted it had broken employment law by failing to consult with unions, to quit.