Hundreds protest in Hull over P&O Ferries redundancies

Credit: PA

Protests have been held in Hull over the sacking of hundreds of workers by P&O Ferries.

Eight hundred staff were laid off on Thursday with immediate effect, and services suspended, as the company fights for survival.

A number of staff on the Pride of Hull staged a sit-in protest on the ship after the announcement for several hours.

On Friday workers were among around 200 people who gathered again at the King George Dock, with organisers saying the actions of P&O were "one of the most vicious examples of despotic employer behaviour".

The protest was organised by the RMT Union which has said it is "deeply disturbed" by the actions of P&O. The protesters were addressed by former Labour leader Ed Miliband and Hull East MP Karl Turner.

Dozens gathered at King George Dock on Friday afternoon to protest over the redundancies

It comes as Hull's three MPs wrote to the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps calling for "strong action" from the government to make sure the company changes its current course.

They called the action of the company "disgraceful" and said the Pride of Hull should be stripped of its name.

The letter reads: "We cannot allow a dangerous precedent to be set, all the more so on transport routes which are strategically vital to the UK."

Credit: PA

In a statement on Thursday, P&O said that it was no longer a "viable business".

The statement said: "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."