Responding to the news of over 1,000 job losses on P&O’s key routes from Dover and Hull to the continent RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said,
“This is devastating news and an appalling betrayal of the P&O workforce.
“ This is a kick in the teeth for P&O seafarers who have maintained key supply lines to the UK during the Covid -19 pandemic.
"What is utterly shameful is P&O have been kept afloat by our members and the taxpayer whilst their owners have been paying out hundreds of millions in dividends in Dubai and cooking up plans to permanently replace UK seafarers with low-cost seafarers from thousands of miles away.
He said the union would fight the proposals "tooth and nail", adding: "This is an attack on British seafarers, crew and the biggest fear is that these jobs will never return to Dover or Hull."
"We are seeking urgent talks with the company and will fight tooth and nail against these job losses and we are calling on the government to step in now and nationalise these services to protect jobs and the UK’s maritime interests,”
P&O operates passenger ferries between Dover and Calais, as well as Hull to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge, plus services across the Irish Sea. It also says it transports 15% of all goods in and out of the UK. As well as P&O, DP World owns the ports of Southampton and London Gateway, plus dozens more around the world. Last year the company made profits of more than £1bn on revenues of more than £6bn. DP World is 80%-owned by the Dubai state and the rest by international investors, but it is in the process of delisting its shares from Dubai’s Nasdaq stock exchange.