Virginia Crosbie MP tells of ferry workers’ fears over P&O sackings

Ynys Môn MP Virginia Crosbie has said the actions of P&O in sacking 800 staff have ‘struck fear’ in her local ferry workers.

Virginia made the comment when she spoke in the P&O Ferries and Employment Rights debate in parliament yesterday.

She said there were strong links between those communities that run ferry operations, such as those at Holyhead.

“I say all this to outline the fact that the bonds between my constituents and the employees of P&O are incredibly strong, and also that P&O’s recent actions have struck fear into our local ferry workers,” she told MPs.

“I have spent time on the phone with constituents who work for Stena, including David Gwatkin, a steward on board the Stena Adventurer and a union representative.

“They were all seeking reassurance that such things could not happen to them and their colleagues, but more importantly they wanted to share their deep anger at people losing their jobs in such an unfair and devastating way.

“I know that that concern is felt in other ports and industries right across the UK. I also spoke to Ian Hampton, the executive director of Stena Line, who was also in shock.

“He spoke about the importance of Stena’s company values and good industrial relations, highlighting how it is a partnership working together to provide the best affordable terms and conditions for their people on their vessels.”

She added: “P&O and DP World may claim commercial reasons for taking this action, but it is enshrined in UK law that no operating business should be able summarily to dismiss hundreds of employees at a stroke without notice or consultation.

“I want to reassure P&O’s staff and others working in the sector, including my own constituents, that the UK Government is taking this matter very seriously.

“As the Secretary of State made clear at the start of this debate, there is absolutely no excuse for the way in which these workers lost their jobs.”

DP World, which owns P&O, sacked the staff last week and replaced them with agency workers in a move that has been widely condemned.

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