Ferry bosses to meet Government officials today amid fears of Easter chaos

P&O European Causeway
By Linsey McNeill
28/03/2022
Home » Ferry bosses to meet Government officials today amid fears of Easter chaos

Bosses from DFDS and Stena Line are due to meet with Government officials today to discuss ‘the continuation of services’.

The meeting was confirmed as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed a P&O Ferries vessel had been detained for ‘being unfit to sail’.

P&O Ferries sacked 800 workers earlier this month and replaced them with cheaper agency staff.

Its services were temporarily halted to allow time for employees to leave its vessels and their replacements to take over.

Mr Shapps said that following his instruction to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to inspect all P&O vessels prior to entering back into service, European Causeway had been detained in Larne, Northern Ireland.

The MCA said the ship was being held over ‘failures on crew familiarisation, vessel documentation and crew training’.

P&O Ferries said it would make changes to return the ship to service.

A Department for Transport spokesperson told Sky News a meeting with rival ferry bosses was taking place today as ‘ministers are working to understand how we can ensure the continuation of services in collaboration with other operators, including DFDS and Stena’.

Meanwhile, the BBC is reporting that the Government intends to force all ferry companies operating from UK ports to pay at least the National Minimum Wage in an attempt to persuade P&O Ferries to rehire its 800 sacked workers.

The broadcaster said legislation will be introduced in the Commons later this week.

The UK minimum hourly rate is £8.91, while the average rate paid to the agency staff brought in by P&O Ferries would be £5.50.

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