Scores of former P&O Ferries seafarers are claiming compensation from the firm after their valuables went missing during the mass firing of almost 800 staff.
Now the operator - which is owned by Dubai-based DP World - has confirmed that almost 200 of the 786 who lost their jobs believed items had gone missing.
Pictures shared online by maritime trade union Nautilus International appeared to show crew belongings piled high alongside bins on the deck of one of the cross-Channel ferries.
One former P&O worker, who wished to remain anonymous, told KentOnline that "people are fuming" about the possessions lost during the replacement of UK workers by foreign agency staff.
"Had they just let people on to collect their gear all of this could have been avoided," they said.
Of the 177 seafarers who requested claim forms to P&O for missing belongings, 132 submitted their claims by the June 30 cut-off date set by their former employer.
It is understood the firm expects to have resolved approximately 75% of the claims by the end of this week.
However, comments in a Facebook group for the sacked workers, seen by this website, suggest many people who have submitted claims are not receiving the full amount they believe they are owed, often because of difficulty proving ownership of items worth more than £50.
Mick Lynch, the firebrand general secretary of the RMT union which represents seafarers, said: "There is seemingly no end to the gangster capitalist behaviour of P&O.
"Not only did they unlawfully sack 800 staff, but they also frogmarched them off preventing many returning to collect their possessions.
"The government should immediately cancel all contracts they have with P&O, impound their vessels and take over the running of the ferries in British waters."
A P&O Ferries spokesman told us that the 25% of claims outstanding require further details in order to be resolved.
They said: "We appreciate the frustration that a small number of our ex-seafarers have experienced with regard to the return of their personal items.
"Our top priority remains either reuniting everyone with their possessions or compensating individuals with proven claims."