March 23, 2022 9.30 pm

Northern Lincolnshire’s MPs won’t condemn P&O ‘firing and rehiring’

All Conservative MPs were told to abstain

By Local Democracy Reporter

Northern Lincolnshire’s MPs abstained from a vote condemning the practice P&O Ferries used to sack its crews.

Conservative MPs Lia Nici, Martin Vickers, Holly Mumby-Croft and Andrew Percy didn’t vote on the motion calling for an end to ‘firing and rehiring’.

800 people from Hull and other towns lost their jobs last week after P&O used the controversial practice.

209 opposition MPs voted in favour of the non-binding motion, which was introduced by Labour, in Monday’s debate. Tories didn’t oppose or support it after the party instructed its members to abstain.

The motion called for banning the practice of firing workers then immediately bringing them back under worse conditions. Labour said new laws were needed to protect workers’ rights.

It is claimed that the agency workers who were brought on to replace P&O workers were being paid as little as £1.81 an hour, as minimum wage doesn’t apply for international routes. Most of the staff were let go by video message.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today said that it appears as though P&O Ferries broke the law when it suddenly let 800 workers go.

He said: “If the company is found guilty then they face fines running into millions of pounds, and in addition we will be taking steps to protect all mariners who are working in UK waters and ensure that they are all paid the living wage.”

Hull MP Karl Turner condemned P&O during the debate, saying: “I have never ever been so angry about a single act of brutal contempt for decent working people as I was on Thursday last week, when loyal workers were sacked by a pre-recorded Zoom call, with replacement crews and balaclava-wearing, handcuff-trained and Taser-trained private security waiting on the quayside.”

Labour called on the government to end all contracts with DP World, which owns the ferry company. They claimed that the parent company had “received millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money during the coronavirus pandemic.”