P&O Ferries CEO Peter Hebblethwaite admitted that the company intentionally chose to break the law when making 800 British seafarers redundant on 17 March.
Peter Hebblethwaite, P&O Ferries CEO, admitted that the company broke the law in full knowledge of its actions and highlighting that he would make the same decision again.
Recalling that the Dubai-owned British ferry company, announced that it fired 800 seafarers, P&O Ferries immediately faced a barrage of criticism by many stakeholders.
According to the CEO, P&O Ferries was legally required to consult with trade unions before making any redundancies, but chose not to because ‘It was our assessment that the change was of such a magnitude no union could accept’ the changes to the company’s business model.
There is no doubt we were required to consult to the unions. We chose not to
In the same way, he said that the decision not to consult was because any consultation process – as required under the law – would have been ‘a sham’.
We have moved to a model widely used across the globe and by our competitors. I would make this decision again
Peter Hebblethwaite insisted.
As he said, the redundancy packages offered to the sacked seafarers were a way to make up for this flagrant breach.
As informed, the company’s new crewing model requires some seafarers to be paid as low as £5.15 per hour. Mr Hebblethwaite was asked whether he could live on that money but he did not make any comment on this.
Mr. Hebblethwaite said that his basic salary was £325,000 per year with bonuses. When asked if he would accept a bonus, given the redundancies and the supposed precariousness of the business that required the loss of British seafaring jobs, he said that he did not know the answer to the question.
In response to P&O Ferries’ announcement, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he believed that the Dubai-owned British ferry company broke the law and that the government would take legal actions.
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