Protests in Kent and Hampshire over P&O Ferries sackings

The march was from the RMT officers to the Port entrance in Dover.
About 400 protestors marched to the Port of Dover. Credit: PA

Protesters turned out in Dover and Southampton today during the latest demonstrations over the sacking of hundreds of seafarers by P&O Ferries.

In Dover former employees and members of the The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.

People marched from the RMT office in Snargate Street to the Port entrance and back.

In a move that sparked widespread outrage, the company sacked almost 800 seafarers earlier this month, and plans to replace them with agency staff on cheaper salaries. Many in the Dover march were calling to be re-instated after being made redundant on 18 March.

Former P&O Deck Petty Officer Lee Davison worked for the company for 30 years

Protestors demonstrating against the job losses in Dover.

P&O Ferries Ferries had no comment to make about todays protests but has said the cuts are the only way for the business to survive. It believes its redundancy package is the "largest compensation package in the British Marine Sector".

It says 40 employees are receiving more than £100,000 in payouts, which are being linked to employees' period of service, adding that some will receive more than £170,000.

In Southampton, trade union members picketed the dockyard site of P and O's parent company, DP World. They protested outside Dock Gate 10 - close to where P and O's parent company DP World has a base of operations. 

Most P&O Ferries lie idle - with mounting criticism of the way the company replaced all its staff

People marched to the Port of Dover entrance.

The demonstrations come after a ship operated by the ferry firm was detained for being "unfit to sail".

The European Causeway vessel has been held at the port of Larne in Northern Ireland due to "failures on crew familiarisation, vessel documentation and crew training", the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he will not compromise the safety of P&O vessels and insisted that the company will not be able to rush training for inexperienced people.

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