P&O Ferries sackings: Replacing workers with £1.80-an-hour agency staff ‘illegal’, says TUC head Frances O’Grady | Politics News

P&O’s way of laying off 800 employees with the aim of replacing them with overseas agent staff is “illegal” and “one of the most shameful incidents in British industrial relations”, one leader said. union leaders told Sky News.

Frances O’Grady, head of the Trade Union Congress, also called for P&O Ferries employee fired via Zoom on Thursday to get their jobs back.

She said they were “not informed, not consulted with their union and fired by a company that treated them like trash” after people were caught wearing a shirt. three holes with cuffs on the waist to force the staff off the ferry.

Read more:
P&O workers ‘forced to sign gag orders in return for overtime pay’

The mass layoffs of P&O Ferry crews were illegal, according to employment experts, as unions marched to demand that members get their jobs back.
Unions march to call on members to get back to work

The RMT union, which represents many of the laid-off staff, announced on Monday that many of the replacement crew members had been hired from India for less than £1.80 an hour – much lower than the average. UK minimum wage.

When asked if she considered P&O’s actions illegal, Ms O’Grady told Sky News: “We do. And we also think it was one of the most embarrassing incidents. in British industrial relations.”

She added that P&O has been given control of “millions of pounds” of freelance transport companies and sits on the Department for Transport’s advisory board, which issues permits, tax allowances and allocations. tax.

“The government can suspend their permits and tell them unless they reinstate those workers they are not welcome in the UK,” she said.

“We need a jobs bill that strengthens workers’ rights but also respects union rights.

“This is a company that has not consulted the unions because they are required to do so by law.

“The government has had to hit them like a ton of bricks and make it clear that no employer can give up treating workers this way.”

Frances O & # 39;  Grady says P&O Ferries employees should be reinstated and claims the company acted illegally.
Frances O’Grady says employee should be reinstated and claims P&O acted illegally

Business Secretary Paul Scully previously defended the government’s response to the P&O layoffs, telling Sky News he had no idea about it until the morning it happened.

He said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was notified the night before the company would announce the excess the next day.

“But it’s not like there will be security guards in balaclavas,” he said.

Mr Scully said the government expected the situation to be the same as previous redundancies by ferry companies, where they announced a consultation and “notice required by law”.

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P&O Ferry fired ‘callous’

He called this an “absolutely serious situation” and wrote to P&O executives for exact details of what happened so they could issue appropriate punishment.

Mr Scully added that this was made more difficult because P&O’s parent company was not flagged in the UK so what they did could have been “completely legal”.

Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds said he was “extremely impressed” with the government’s response and said he would be “immediately suspicious” if P&O told him it was doing excess work today. then it happened again.

“The priority should be to say that this is unacceptable in this country,” he told Sky News.

“We will not have a race to the bottom with the standards promised after Brexit.”

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