Calls grow for state to run P&O Ferries amid fresh safety concerns over vessels

With the Pleasure of Britain held in Dover, the TUC claimed there have been ‘important considerations’ about P&O’s capability to function safely. The union is asking for the corporate to be taken into public possession

The P&O Ferries vessel Spirit of Britain (proper) moored on the Port of Dover in Kent

P&O Ferries must be taken into public possession if a “fit and proper” operator can’t be discovered rapidly, the TUC mentioned as recent security
considerations have been raised over one other of the corporate’s vessels.

A P&O ferry on the Dover to Calais route remained detained yesterday after “additional deficiencies” have been discovered throughout a reinspection.

The Maritime and Coastguard Company mentioned there have been points with security techniques and crew documentation for the Pleasure of Kent.

With the Pleasure of Britain additionally held in Dover, the TUC claimed there have been “significant concerns” about P&O’s capability to function safely.

The union’s plea comes after the corporate sacked 800 seafarers final month and changed them with company crew paid as little as £5.50 an hour.

It tried to justify the transfer by claiming it was struggling losses of £100million a 12 months.

Freight lorries queue on the Port of Dover as P&O Ferries sailings stay suspended



Since then most of P&O Ferries’ providers have been suspended, which is prone to pile additional monetary stress on the agency, along with the £36million price of a redundancy bundle for the dismissed staff.

Disruption to its providers has induced backlogs in freight deliveries.

The TUC mentioned there’s a “clear precedent” for the Authorities stepping in to maintain important providers working. It pointed to the rail business, the place the Division for Transport stepped in to run intercity passenger providers on the East Coast Mainline on two separate events.

TUC boss Frances O’Grady mentioned: “If P&O can’t operate safely and without breaking redundancy law and hiring agency workers on a pittance, it hasn’t got a viable business model.

“The Government must be prepared to step in and take over P&O’s freight and passenger services if a fit and proper operator cannot be found quickly. This has happened before in other sectors and would bring much-needed stability.”

P&O Ferries mentioned: “We take the safety of passengers and crew very seriously and look forward to all our ships welcoming tourist passengers and freight customers again as soon as all mandatory safety tests have been passed.”

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