Freight News, Sea

Government still ignoring ferry worker rights, says union

[ March 16, 2023   //   ]

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has accused the UK government of disregarding the rights of P%O Ferries workers “once the cameras were switched off”.

A year after P&O Ferries illegally fired 786 UK seafarers in a controversial move, “there have been zero penalties, fines or charges brought against the company or its disgraced chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite by the UK government,” said general secretary, Stephen Cotton .

The ITF and other unions are calling for Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak – who at the time called P&O’s actions “appalling” to crack down on corporations who break the law and violate the labour rights of British workers.

The UK unions RMT and Nautilus have been pushing for amendments to the Seafarers’ Wages Bill which, says the government would force operators to pay the UK national minimum wage when their ferries are in UK territorial waters. The unions say that the new law on its own would not stop a repeat of the illegal firings and are calling for unions to be able to apply for ‘injunctive relief’ from UK courts, who will be given new powers to suspend sackings from taking effect until proper procedures had been demonstrated to have been followed by employers. Workers could also be reinstated if they had in fact been wrongfully dismissed.

Tags: ,