P&O workers sacked over Zoom call were ‘given five minutes to get off ship’

Footage obtained by the BBC shows the moment 800 of P&O Ferries UK crew members were told over Zoom they had all lost their jobs You can watch the clip below:

Earlier today (17 March), the company announced it ‘will not be running’ after ordering all of its vessels to return to the dock.

The firm fired its workforce via video link, with the short clip showing the P&O boss saying: "The company has made the decision that its vessels going forward will be primarily crewed by a third party crew provider.

"Therefore I am sorry to inform you that this means your employment is terminated with immediate effect on the grounds of redundancy.

"Your final day of employment is today."

In a statement, the parent company, DP World, said the decision was taken for the sake of its future.

A spokesperson for the firm said: "P&O Ferries plays a critical role in keeping trade flowing, supply chains moving, and connecting families and friends across the North and Irish seas and the English Channel.

"We have been at the heart of this service for years and we are committed to serving these vital routes.

"However, in its current state, P&O Ferries is not a viable business. We have made a £100m loss year on year, which has been covered by our parent DP World.

"This is not sustainable. Our survival is dependent on making swift and significant changes now. Without these changes there is no future for P&O Ferries.

"These circumstances have resulted in a very difficult but necessary decision, which was only taken after seriously considering all the available options.

"As part of the process we are starting today, we are providing 800 seafarers with immediate severance notices and will be compensating them for this lack of advance notice with enhanced compensation packages."

However, union bosses have told their members to remain onboard the ferries, slamming the move and saying they will 'fight'.

Speaking about the mass redundancies, a spokesperson for the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said: "We have instructed our members to remain onboard and are demanding our members across P&O's UK operations are protected and the Secretary of State intervenes to save seafarers from the dole queue.

"We are digging in for the long-haul. We are determined to fight."

Numerous people criticised P&O’s treatment of staff, with one responding to the clip shared by the BBC: “I bet he gets to keep his job. Wonder if he can sleep at night?”

Another commented: “This is absolutely disgusting… You don't make an employee redundant when that company isn't going into liquidation.”

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