Scotland Times

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

P&O recruitment agency says it knew nothing about sackings

P&O recruitment agency says it knew nothing about sackings

A recruitment agency which supplied P&O Ferries with workers to replace sacked staff has denied any prior knowledge of the mass redundancies.

The ferry operator sacked 800 seafaring staff without warning in a video message last Thursday.

New workers hired by Clyde Marine Recruitment soon arrived at Cairnryan port in Dumfries and Galloway.

But the company insisted it had unwittingly hired replacements - and denied they were cheap labour.

Managing director Ian Livingstone said: "Clyde Marine Recruitment Ltd have supplied crews and officers to P&O for more than 30 years.

"We were as surprised as everyone else in the UK shipping business when the news broke that 600 crew and 200 officers were to lose their jobs with immediate effect.

"We fully understand the anger being felt by the crews, their families and their supporters."

All P&O sailings between Cairnryan and Larne in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland, have been halted since the sackings.

P&O Ferries said the redundancy measures were a "last resort" to save the business.

P&O runs services between Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway and Larne in Northern Ireland

The Scottish government said it was reviewing all publicly-funded contracts with the operator.

Agency seafarers have told BBC Scotland how they turned and left Cairnryan port when they realised what the job entailed.

Gavin Hamilton, from Paisley, and Mark Canet-Baldwin, from Lincolnshire, said they were given no information about the vessel they would be working on.

The two only realised it was a P&O vessel when their coach pulled up at the dock.

They were accompanied by a dozen security guards with handcuffs.

Mr Hamilton said: "I knew a lot of people on board that were going to be losing their jobs and that just didn't sit right with me.

"When we realised the RMT were involved and this was a big union dispute, we didn't want to be part of that. To us, boarding that ship was like crossing a picket line."

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has questioned whether P&O's actions may have breached employment law.

His Scottish government counterpart Jenny Gilruth has also backed calls for the redundancies to be reversed and said P&O Ferries would undoubtedly suffer reputational damage over its handling of the situation.

The recruitment agency involved is now looking to distance itself from the dispute - and claims that it was providing cheap foreign labour.

Clyde Marine's Ian Livingston added: "The claims that Clyde Marine Recruitment have supplied P&O with foreign crews on lower rates is wrong.

"All the crew and officers we have supplied to P&O are on full UK industry rates."

The RMT union has claimed new crew on P&O ships will be paid at rates well below the minimum wage.

'No effective sanction'

Its general secretary Mick Lynch said: "The weakness in UK employment law has not only allowed the mass dismissing of UK seafarers, it has also incentivised this barbaric behaviour.

"Employers know there may be no effective sanction to stop them doing so, and on top of that they can get away with paying below the minimum wage.

"P&O may pay more than the minimum wage at first to agency staff, but they will eventually move to rates below this simply because there is nothing to stop them from doing so.

"We fear poverty pay will be accompanied by seafarers being chained to 12-hour day, seven-day week contracts that operate continuously for six months, with no pension."

The mass sackings have led to protests at ports used by around the UK.

The RMT has said it will stage a boycott and demonstration at Cairnryan from 12:00 on Wednesday.

Agency worker Mark Canet-Baldwin hired to replace P&O staff quits over mass staff sacking


Related Articles

Scotland Times
UK Island Orkney council to look at proposals to become territory of Norway
Woman Awarded Over £100,000 After Being Fired for Transgender Tweet
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
A Real woman
Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Double standards: UK lawmakers attack EU chief over Ireland claims
Democracy? Not for UK. UK PM rejects Scottish independence referendum, cancel democracy in BVI
UK urged to brace for economic storm
Women's own body dissatisfaction appears to influence their judgment of other women's body sizes
Prince William To Move Family Into Cottage Near Queen Elizabeth II
BOOOOOOS: Tony Blair receives royal honour
Captured Britons sentenced to death in Ukraine
Barbados PM Mia A. Mottley among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People
Today's headlines
"Just One Of the Boys In School:" Years That Shaped Prince Charles
BVI Premier Rubbishes Claim Of Causing COI Delay
Comments on "Human Intelligence in a Digital Age" - A brilliant Speech by MI6 Chief Richard Moore, and the elephants neglected in the room
Bitcoin: BoE Deputy Gov wants to cancel democracy and protect the banks with regulations which infringe on people’s freedom, independence and benefits they get from their own money.
What are the Pandora Papers?
Taiwan-China relations at their 'worst in 40 years'
The attempt to hold accountable for the content of its clients' websites is like blaming Gutenberg for the NYT's fake news that dragged the US into the pointless war against the nuclear weapons Iraq never had