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RMT to hold demonstration against P&O Ferries' redundancies at Dover and Hull

Ferries union the RMT is to hold a demonstration against plans to make seafarers redundant at Dover.

The action will apply pressure on P&O Ferries which has announced 614 jobs will be cut from its Dover to Calais operation.

P&O Ferries, based in Dover, announced plans to make more than 1,000 people redundant in May
P&O Ferries, based in Dover, announced plans to make more than 1,000 people redundant in May

The protest is due to take place from 2.45pm on Thursday outside the union's offices at Snargate Street, Dover.

Union members and supporters are encouraged to attend and they will be asked to sign a petition put together by RMT general secretary Mick Cash which has already collected 7,000 signatures.

A circular to members from Mr Cash said: "Two demonstrations will be taking place this Thursday in Hull and Dover to protest at the scandalous actions of P&O Ferries in trying to cut 1,100 jobs, including 740 seafarers from Dover and Hull while taking in excess of £250million in taxpayers' money."

He added that the ferry giant's actions were a "national disgrace".

P&O told the union before the coronavirus outbreak that it needed to make 20% savings.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the maritime union RMT. Picture: RMT
Mick Cash, general secretary of the maritime union RMT. Picture: RMT

When the pandemic hit, the company put 1,400 workers on furlough, using the government's Jobs Retention Scheme.

The travel ban had caused a reduction in passengers and the company reduced the five-ship operation to a three-vessel freight-only model while asking for more government handouts. It provoked outrage in April by paying $332million from 2019's profits to shareholders.

The redundancy consultation was announced in May and ends on June 24.

Last week we reported how the union was calling on the company to continue to make use of the furlough scheme until true demand for passenger sailings could be assessed in the summer instead of leaving the company with a shortfall of trained staff.

To sign the petition click here.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent


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