The leading UK ferry operator P&O Ferries has sacked its crew across its entire fleet after stopping all its sailings.
Unions called it a “scandalous betrayal”, and said about 800 jobs at all grades had been axed with no notice, with P&O planning to use cheap agency staff to operate its ships.
The operator, owned by the Dubai-based DP World, earlier told crew to return to port and await a “major announcement” in a sudden move likely to cause serious disruption to travel for passengers and freight.
Unions predicted a potential standoff could develop, having instructed crew not to leave vessels, while coaches of replacement crew and security staff are already in place at Dover and Hull.
Just by way of a reminder, P&O Ferries took £4,394,000 in government subsidies during the height of the pandemic to keep those routes afloat.