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Trade unions look set to launch legal claims over P&O mass redundancies

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

Nautilus International has issued a letter to P&O Ferries, informing management that the Union is now in a formal dispute with the company. The letter states:

“Further to the announcement of about 800 ‘redundancies’ made yesterday morning (17 March 2022), Nautilus International now considers itself in dispute with P&O Ferries.

This is consequential to the complete circumvention of our long-established Collective Bargaining Agreement and outrageous behaviours in its treatment of our maritime professionals. Furthermore, I note that P&O Ferries completely failed to carry out any collective consultation with Nautilus International, as required by section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

The company, we believe, have acted unlawfully and immorally in failing to provide any notice of planned redundancies and have failed to engage in any consultation process.”

The trade union has also called on the British government to pursue any possible legal action against P&O Ferries over the company’s decision to summarily lay off 800 British workers. In addition to legal action, Nautilus asks that the government end all contracts with P&O Ferries and its parent company DP World and use this leverage to restore the 800 jobs; that it revoke the company’s licences to operate vessels in British waters; and that it claw back all money given to the company during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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