P&O Ferries owner PRAISES bosses for 'amazing' job

P&O Ferries owner PRAISES bosses for doing an ‘amazing’ job… weeks after 800 workers were controversially fired and replaced with cheaper agency staff

  • Ahmed bin Sulayem said it was too late to reverse the mass-sacking decision 
  • He said ‘nobody was hurt’, with only one staff member rejecting terms offered 
  • PM called for the chief executive of P&O Ferries, Peter Hebblethwaite, to resign 

The Dubai-based sultan who owns P&O Ferries has praised its management for doing an ‘amazing job’ after it laid off 800 crew members in March.

Ahmed bin Sulayem said it was too late to reverse the mass-sacking decision and expressed annoyance at the Government for turning on the company.

Boris Johnson called for the chief executive of P&O Ferries, Peter Hebblethwaite, to resign after he ‘brazenly’ admitted breaking employment law when crew were fired over Zoom without notice. 

Ahmed bin Sulayem said it was too late to reverse the mass-sacking decision and expressed annoyance at the Government for turning on the company

They were to be replaced by a ‘third party crew provider’, which turned out to be £5.50-an-hour foreign agency workers.

Mr Sulayem, 67, chairman and chief executive of DP World which has owned the British shipping company since 2019, told the Financial Times: ‘We said many times, [the UK Government] can’t do anything now because [the P&O decision] is in the past.

‘The decision was their [the P&O board] decision… we did not interfere and tell them what to do. Peter has done an amazing job because he managed to save the company instead of 3,000 people [being] out of a job.’

Boris Johnson called for the chief executive of P&O Ferries, Peter Hebblethwaite, to resign after he ‘brazenly’ admitted breaking employment law when crew were fired over Zoom without notice

Mr Sulayem said ‘nobody was hurt’, with only one staff member having rejected the terms offered. 

While P&O is still running a reduced schedule, he said more of its ships had cleared safety inspections after being stopped from sailing following the sackings.

He linked the job losses with a perceived lack of support during the pandemic. But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said P&O received £11million in furlough money.

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