UK's P&O Ferries Lays Off 800 Staff in Business Shake Up

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday March 17, 2022

Ferry operator P&O Ferries has made 800 staff members redundant in an attempt to keep the business afloat.

The firm announced the move to staff on a pre-recorded video call on Thursday, having suspended services before the announcement.

Unions in the UK said staff were given almost no warning of the move, and that the laid-off employees have been replaced by cheaper agency workers.

The company expects 'significant disruption' to its services over the next few days, it said in a statement on its website with numerous sailings cancelled today and in in the coming days.

Many crew members were reported to be refusing to leave their vessels, with private security officers called in and tasked to remove the staff.

Media reports from the UK indicated it could be a week before vessels were moving again, adding to an already strained supply chain.

P&O said the layoffs were needed to remain a viable business after reporting a £100 million loss last year having been heavily impacted by measures taken in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

P&O has a fleet of 20 vessels and is owned by Dubai-based ports and logistics firm DP World.