Published: 19:19, 17 June 2020
| Updated: 21:15, 17 June 2020
A proposed union demonstration against a ferry giant's plan to make redundancies has been suspended.
The protest was due to take place from 2.45pm tomorrow, outside the union's offices at Snargate Street, Dover, at the same time as a similar protest in Hull.
A circular to members from RMT general secretary Mick 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".
Union members and supporters were encouraged to attend and they will be asked to sign a petition put together by Mr Cash which has already collected more than 7,000 signatures.
However, plans have been suspended amid rumours of progress in meetings between the company and union leaders.
When the pandemic hit, P&O 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.
More by this authorAlex Jee
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