SWU expresses solidarity with the workers sacked by P&O Ferries – trade unions will not stand for these tactics

The immediate termination of an entire seafaring workforce is a stark example of the callous fire and re-hire employment practice that became widespread during the pandemic

The Social Workers Union (SWU) would like to express solidarity with the Rail Maritime & Transportation Union (RMT), Nautilus International Union, and P&O Ferries staff, following the unlawful sacking of an entire workforce without notice or consultation.

The impact upon employees and their families’ lives will be huge, and this blatant disregard for committed reliable staff emphasises the gulf between ordinary working-class people and the cosmically wealthy company owners and shareholders, dictating their lives and dismissing their grievances. The disgraceful and exploitative process of rehiring staff on below minimum wage and with no terms and conditions is a blatant disregard of all that the trade union movement has spent generations fighting for, and we as a movement need to respond robustly. 

The TUC published a poll in 2021 revealing that nearly one in 10 (9%) workers has experienced “fire and rehire” since the first lockdown. Exploitative tactics like this have no place in modern society and trade unions will fight them every step of the way.

SWU shares the profound sense of disgust felt across the whole of the trade union and working-class movement towards the actions of P&O Ferries management, and sends solidarity and strength to our comrades therein.