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Aha, the P&O thing explained

As I understand it, the intention is to replace the four heavily unionised crews that staff each ship with just two un-unionised crews of agency workers

The RMT produces 100% overmanning…..

26 thoughts on “Aha, the P&O thing explained”

  1. Ah… Very much like the print unions in “the good old days”. Except that the RMT are amateurs in comparison, the “official” (over-)manning levels for printing were at least +200%, and that’s not counting the “ghost employees”.

  2. “Even if not illegal under the law, no corporation can afford to behave with such crass insensitivity. ”

    Funny, because I’ve lost several “solid” jobs that way…
    Merger/”reorganisation” , all contracts “under review”, there’s the exit, thank you for your efforts, here’s your severance package and a glowing recommendation for your resumé.

    And yes.. Two were as sudden as happened at P&O just now. And as …clinical.. Seriously large corporations as well.

    Of course, not having the inside track the RMT has to the Media, it hardly made any waves outside of the local papers…

    But yeah… it’s legal, and they do get away with it. Quite regularly.

  3. Baron, I used to love Private Eyes take on the print unions – NotSoba and Sodoff.

    I wonder if the agency workers T’s & C’s will comply with: “The Seafarers Directive is implemented in relation to UK ships by the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Hours of Work) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/58), which provide that minimum hours of rest should not be less than 10 hours in any 24-hour period and 77 hours in any seven-day period. Hours of rest cannot be divided into more than two periods, one of which must be at least six hours in length. (The Maritime and Coastguard Agency can authorise collective agreements that provide for limited exceptions to these rules.)

    Seafarers are entitled to a minimum of two and a half days’ annual leave per month of employment (pro rated where they do not work a complete month), and an additional eight days’ leave each year (pro rated where they do not work a complete leave year).

  4. Grikath, I well remember the ‘consultation’ my department colleagues and I had with our employer. It consisted of the four of us sitting down with the HR Director and being told, “we are making two of you redundant”.

  5. I’d have thought the TUPE regulations would have some bearing on this. Weren’t they designed specifically to combat this sort of thing?

  6. Geoffers, It appears they’ve been sacked, not had a transfer of employer……… The company may be called ‘P & O’ so all the great unwashed think it’s British, but it is owned by a bunch of sand wogs and we all know their feelings on human rights.

  7. Harry Haddock's Ghost

    I don’t understand how anyone of a libertarian persuasion can support fire and rehire, after all contracts between parties should be contracts, end of.

    Having a situation where a company can say, with the backing of the state, “oh, that contract? Only kidding, lolz, now fuck off” is basic robbery.

    If the company is in dire straights and going belly up then ok, but ALL contracts should be nullified, and that includes the owners, creditors, etc loosing their shirts not just the employees.

    And no, it shouldn’t matter that the employees in question belong to a union stuck in the dark ages (Daily Telegraph take note)

  8. Except the contracts aren’t being nullified. If you fire without consultation then you must pay some months of pay as compensation for firing without consultation. Which they are doing. Shrug. You know, an employer is allowed to fire folk?

  9. It’s a bit more complicated if the employee has more than two years tenure, Tim. If it was done on the basis of redundancy, then P&O are in BIG trouble.

    And as Addolf points out, it isn’t the union but The Rules that cause the overmanning. My sister went for a job at Dover, but when they explained the unpleasant conditions under which they work, she turned it down.

  10. The point is not that people were sacked, but that they were sacked by foreigners. Surely, in the interests of natural justice, if our countrymen and women are fucked over by filthy foreigners, those filthy foreigners should be fucked over too! Stands ter reason, mate …

  11. If the new crewing is half the size of the old crewing, then yes half the old crew were redundant. Initial reports were that the whole crew was replaced, which would by definition mean that none of them were redundant.

  12. Did a job years ago off of Sakhlin Island with two German flag vessels. Under German law a crew could only work 8 hours/day, so we had to carry three crews for each unit.

  13. I do wonder how many people complaining about how this was done would be happy to be a passenger on a boat or plane entirely staffed by people who had just been told they were working their notice period.

  14. I believe I read that P & O Ferries had lost £100m last year. That is surely the sort of loose change you lose down the back of the Parker Knoll if you’re a UAE petro-billionaire

  15. Maffski. I don’t suppose any of the crew would consider leaving the bow doors open…..the crew of an airliner could go mental with the peanuts and in flight refreshments though. Just to get their own back you see.

  16. Harry Haddock's Ghost

    Shrug. You know, an employer is allowed to fire folk?

    Except, bzzzzzzzz…. Nill points – not only was that not my argument, it isn’t technically correct; you aren’t allowed to randomly fire people.

    Fire and re-hire is where people are sacked and them asked to re-apply for exactly the same job on shitter conditions. Not where they are redundant (i.e. no longer required aka their role no longer exists) or shit at their jobs and not meeting their contractual obligations (sacked after proper process).

    You aren’t allowed to randomly fire folk just for lolz if they are filling their contractual duties except in the case of F+RH, which is meant to only be used where the company is in dire straits. My point being that if that is the case ALL parties should take a bath, not just the employees, thus F+RH is hard to defend in any situation. I know not if P&O have followed correct F+RH procedure; couldn’t give a monkeys.

    So, your sarcasm is misplaced, Sir, as you don’t seem to have understood my point. Ner ner ner ner ner.

  17. Rational Anarchist

    I’d imagine at least 65% of union workers can be outperformed and replaced by robots, no?

    You spelt cardboard cutouts wrong

  18. @Harry Haddock’s Ghost – “contracts between parties should be contracts, end of.”

    Does this mean that once I sign up for a mobile phone, I’m tied to that tariff from that supplier for life? If not, and I can unlilaterally just quit, why cannot an employer similarly decide that an ongoing contract for employment needs to end?

    As reported, the situation seems to be contrary to British employment law (fake redundancy etc), but I’m very suspicious that the story is distorted. For example, if someone’s contract specified that they are entitled to 30 days’ notice, then you can still effectively fire them instantly – you just have to pay them for the 30 subsequent days. There’s even a term for this: gardening leave.

  19. Harry Haddock’s Ghost said:
    “contracts between parties should be contracts, end of”

    The contract usually has a clause that allows either party to terminate the contract, on notice, without needing a reason. It’s not generally the contract that makes that inoperable, but legislation.

  20. Having made heavens knows how many Channel crossings – four a week at one point – via both Calais & Dunkerque, as far as I’m concerned you can fire the lot of them & replace them with chimpanzees. And that includes anyone works at the Dover terminal. Be an improvement all round.

  21. BiS

    That’s a bit unfair. I used to be a frequent sailor too, trips to Germany, Holland and Austria, often twice weekly. I never had any problems with either DFDS or PandO apart from the incomprehensible handsignals of the guys on the parking deck and getting stung a couple of times by turning up too early and paying for an earlier boat or otherwise being exiled to some far flung corner. Check in people were always polite and service on board was always alright. Tended not to travel SeaFrance though…

  22. Harry Haddock's Ghost

    Does this mean that once I sign up for a mobile phone, I’m tied to that tariff from that supplier for life?

    For the life of that contract, yup, after which period, commonly known as ‘the contract’, you are free to go elsewhere, commonly known as being ‘out of contact’. Lol.

  23. @Harry Haddock’s Ghost:
    “I don’t understand how anyone of a libertarian persuasion can support fire and rehire, after all contracts between parties should be contracts, end of.”
    Libertarians have historically been opposed to entails and most forms of specific performance. The extreme end is sceptical of all promises for future performance.

    I’m not sure what you think a contract means, but the remedy is usually damages not enforcement via an injunction/specific performance. Legislation introduces other remedies for unfair dismissal etc, but these are not contractual and defying the order usually just leads to damages.

    “If the company is in dire straights and going belly up then ok, but ALL contracts should be nullified…”

    Insolvency does NOT nullify contracts.

  24. @Harry Haddock’s Ghost – “For the life of that contract, yup,”

    Back here in the land of the living, we have all kinds of contracts which start with an initial fixed term and then switch to becoming indefinite until terminated by either party. Mobile phone contracts work like that, as do tenancies, and all kinds of subscriptions. Obviously, you must have become a ghost back when people had jobs for life. Things are very different now.

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