London, (Business News Report)|| P&O Ferries have without warning sacked 800 employees and replaced them with agency workers on less pay and worse terms and conditions. DP world, the owner of the company, had pledged that there will be no job losses and vowed to protect the cross-channel services and maintain the pensions of its employees, ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies said Friday in a statement.
The London-based think tank set out proposals and a course of action that will secure the jobs and livelihoods of the sacked workers and said that this requires immediate legislative changes and a recognition of the nefarious influences that have been allowed to penetrate the British economy and obtain control over the island’s vital industries.
Owned by Dubai Ports World–which is managed by Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, a member of the UAE leading families–P&O Ferries’ service connects mainland Great Britain to Northern Ireland, Ireland, and the European continent. DP World is, via a holding company, owned by the United Arab Emirate’s Government.
ImpACT said that P&O’s Dubai-based billionaire owners are attempting to conduct a race to the bottom and practice social dumping.
In an underhand move and manipulation of maritime legislation the owners registered the P&O Ferries fleet in Cyprus to dismiss the workers, and replace them with agency workers on flexible and insecure terms, ImpACT said.
Unlike the EU law, under UK law it is not possible to make people redundant unless the role no longer exists.
The cold sacking by video link and using security guards to escort hardworking employees forcibly and inhumanely off their ships in which they had served in some cases for decades is an egregious affront to business ethics and, similarly, consumers have also been badly let down, ImpACT said.
Trade has already been harmed by the worldwide backlog and poor supply of seagoing transports and cargo containers, leading to cost-push inflationary pressures cascading through the economy.
DP World’s decision to suspend P&O Ferries services, shutting cross channel routes from British to continental European ports, can only further harm hard-pressed businesses and consumers alike, according to ImpACT.
Denying passengers and haulers services of already booked services will not only damage the company’s reputation but will also lead to compensation claims that will deepen its problems, the think tank said.
Robert Oulds, Executive Director of ImpACT stated: “The United Arab Emirates is attacking the economic interests of working people in the United Kingdom. It is deeply regretful that such a prestigious British company, once a hallmark of the United Kingdom’s maritime strength, trade, and prosperity, is now owned by a regime notorious for human rights abuses and exploitation of its own workforce. Many of which are themselves the victims of social dumping.”
“It is shameful that their economic model, that should have no place in the twentieth century, is still being practiced in the UAE and is even being exported to the UK. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson should not allow such bullying of British workers.”
Cancelling services until such time as agency workers have been appointed is, for a country like the United Kingdom which relies on trade, a threat to national security, as such a decision amounts to economic blackmail against Britain, ImpACT said.
ImpACT called on DP World to reverse it decision and recommended that other operators should be prevented from following similar measures.