Calls grow for P&O Ferries to face legal action over mass sackings

By Steve Jones
Home » Calls grow for P&O Ferries to face legal action over mass sackings

Labour has urged business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to take legal action against P&O Ferries as the fallout continues over its mass sacking of 800 staff.

Shadow transport secretary, Louise Haigh, deputy leader Angela Rayner and shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds have written to Kwarteng asking if he intends to begin proceedings again the operator.

“If not, could you explain why?,” the politicians have asked in a letter quoted by The Guardian.

Under existing regulations, employers who want to make more than 100 people redundant must notify the government least 45 days before doing so.

“An employer who fails to provide that notification is committing a criminal offence, and liable to an unlimited fine. It is for you, as secretary of state, to launch that action,” the Labour letter states.

P&O Ferries has until 5pm tomorrow to respond to a letter from Kwarteng who spelled out the government’s ‘anger and disappointment’ over the way the company had handled the redundancies.

He will then decide whether to make a formal complaint.

Labour and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) are calling on all MPs to back the opposition motion to ban ‘fire and rehire’, whereby staff are let go and re-employed on unfavourable terms and conditions.

Labour is expected to force an emergency vote on the issue in parliament today.

The TUC called on MPs from all parties to ‘do the right thing” and back the motion.

“P&O ferries and its owner DP World have acted without shame. We can’t let them off the hook,” general secretary Frances O’Grady said. “Rogue employers need to know they can’t get away with treating workers like disposable labour.”

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