Father of four worried about mortgage after P&O Ferries sacks 800 members of staff

A father-of-four is worried about how he's going to pay his mortgage after being made redundant by P&O Ferries.

This morning (March 17), 800 members of P&O Ferries staff were informed that they were losing their jobs with immediate effect. Staff had no advance warning, to the point where crew members were on board ships when they found out.

Security staff were sent by P&O to some vessels to remove now former employees.

JP Lonegan, former Chief Officer of P&O's European Causeway is still trying to come to terms with what redundancy means for his life.

Mr Lonegan said: "It's a big shock. I've four kids, mortgage to pay... I don't know what's going to happen."

Speaking to UTV, East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said the company had done great damage to its reputation by "secretly planning" to replace its workforce.

It wasn't just employees who were angered by P&O's sudden move. Many passengers had their travel plans and lives disrupted by ferry cancellations.

Scottish couple Jackie and Gavin Shaw had to pay £200 for a new crossing back home from Northern Ireland after their ferry was canceled on Thursday.

Jackie and Gavin Shaw's ferry was cancelled.

Once the shock wears off, the former employees of P&O will have to plan new lives that they could hardly have imagined weeks ago.

"We were planning to build an extension to the house," Mr Lonegan said.

P&O said it lost £100million year on year, which has forced it to make 'swift and significant changes now'.

  • HELPLINE: Affected workers can call the Labour Relations Agency on 033 00 555 300. Advisers will be available to give information and advice.