P&O redundancies

‘A betrayal’: 800 P&O Ferries staff made immediately redundant amid £100m-a-year loss (msn.com)

An absolute Horror Story… My family and I have used these ferries; pre-covid. The mass sacking of so many maritime employees is a travesty. Surely some understanding could have been reached. Agency crew replacements? Not a wise move.

The security implications of having foreign crews (I seem to remember that most of the crew were Brits) in coastal trades are obvious… Just one more reason our Jones Act needs to be maintained- perhaps strengthened.


About 55 years ago I was on leave and one morning I read in my national newspaper that a ship had been sold and the run it was on had been closed, all without any notice. I read further and found that it was the ship that I was Third Engineer on! That was P&O Ferries. Different owners and management now but nothing changes.


Plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose.
Ship operators; always have been and always will be self serving scum.

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Wow! Like most Americans, I have always believed the Europeans were more civilized about worker redundancies and such. The idea that it was all but impossible to fire someone seemed to be the norm. Times have changed I guess.

At least here we have the WARN Act which to some degree prevents that type of employeecide.


20 CFR Part 639 is quite specific…


two observations from your comment:

  • The ferries are not doing coastal trade. They sail from one country to another.
  • There are plenty of ships with fully "foreign"crew already without any ISPS security risks. I guess in your view all non-USA crew is a potential terrorist ?

Negative, I am not implying that at all… Some of the ferries run to Northern Ireland- do they not? (Or did)- These occurrences happen in clusters; and therefore “migrate” we have enough drama on our side of the pond- the Jones Act mention was a personal addendum… The recent attacks upon which resemble the same “financial reasoning”. Just this past year saw “creativity in chartering and crewing” which cost people their livelihood in our US Flag Fleet.

So then, what is YOUR opinion of this wholesale sacking and replacement by much lower salaried crew?

In closing, I would suggest that you research the point regarding crewmember documentation (and therefore individual security vetting of seafarers) which was recently posted in this forum which basically stated that certain credentials coming out of certain flag states were in fact fraudulently obtained…

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Yes. New Orleans comes to mind.


There was an interesting interview on the radio today with one of the ‘agency’ crew.
He sounded like an Aussie and was the only non-Brit out of a group of 17 waiting to join a ship.
They had been told that they were signing on to a new ship for a new company and replacing the delivery crew.
One of the 17 actually worked on that ship so phoned one of the other crew onboard and found out what was really going on.
The Aussie and 2 others walked so kudos to them.
Agency doesn’t necessarily mean foreign, it just means piece workers with no contractual backup.


International Ferry Management (IFM), the crewing agency named by P&O as their new partner in replacing the 800 UK seafarers laid off on Thursday, was only set up in recent months – heightening concerns around whether the company is capable of safely operating ships in some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

IFM is registered in Malta and has one registered director, Antonio Ciriale, who applied to become director on 11 February.

But this mass swap out of crew made me wonder how much money P&O could save. I found this regarding the senior officers’ salaries. It doesn’t seem even slightly excessive to me. But I have no idea about the accuracy of the scale reported.

The senior masters who captain ferries earn salaries of more than £70,000, according to employees, meaning they are in the top 7pc of British workers by salary. It can take more than a decade to be promoted to the job, which involves legal and operational responsibility for the ship.

A relief master can typically earn more than £65,000, while chief engineers responsible for the smooth running of a vessel’s engine room are on a similar salary.

Lower ranked engineer and officer roles can earn up to £48,000, according to staff, while starting salaries for the junior-ranked roles begin at around £28,000 - above the average UK salary of £25,971.

P&O Ferries staff typically receive bonuses on top of their annual salaries.

Ahhhh, nice to see your vitriol toward the US is unchanged. I like consistency! Your point is taken. However- why didn’t you repost the fact that there were (and still are) numerous prosecutions, revocations, suspensions and jail sentences related to this? Oh, reposting at choice I guess, check your tin foil hat size please…

Nothing quite like the personal touch.

Yes, Kudos to them is in order- BUT, as we all know, we’ve been faced with a dwindling manpower- shortages all over… where do you think they’ll get it?

There will be a crisis and so the powers that be will lower the required standards as a temporary measure.
I find it both bizarrely amusing and terribly sad that my company went for cheap foreign labour years ago and chose Ukrainians.
Now they are having to pay Estonians to cover the Ukrainians who can’t get home whilst still paying the Ukrainians.
It’s a cross between Catch 22 and Brazil.
I have been in this outfit for 2 decades (this month!) and have seen a couple of Nights of the Long Knives but thankfully that has mostly (excluding Covid situation) been restricted to management; you know, get rid of the people who have been here for ages and have the knowledge and experience to make the system work efficiently and replace them with people who can’t.
Shore side bastards.

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For political reasons a lot of people are blaming brexit for P&O ferries financial problems, but if you read their latest financial results they pin the blame almost entirely on covid travel restrictions, they hardly even mention brexit.

Covid travel restrictions made them lose a lot of money and now they are having to restructure in order to survive.

It is a very harsh way to treat their employees, but at the end of the day if they don’t do something to cut costs they would might go out of business anyway, so people would lose their jobs either way.

From what I read and hear there is an INCREASING manpower shortage in the world of shipping. It is far from “dwindling”,
With the Ukrainian crisis it is rather becoming more acute.

800 qualified and well trained seafarers becoming available should be welcome news for those ship managers desperately looking for manpower to replace the Ukrainians heading home to fight (or to meet their families that have escaped the war)

There are also thousands of seafarers that has been waiting for relief for months.

PS> The ferries in question are not flying the Red duster, nor are they in UK coastal trade.
To top it off; P&O Ferries are no longer a British owned company. (It is owned by DP World, Dubai)

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Bugg, please don’t be obtuse. “Dwindling manpower” and “shortages” were two separate statements to emphasize the manpower crisis. Hence the separation by a hyphen.

As to:

800 qualified and well trained seafarers becoming available should be welcome news for those ship managers desperately looking for manpower to replace the Ukrainians heading home to fight (or to meet their families that have escaped the war)

Where do you think the 800 scab replacements for the ferry workers will materialize from? It is a zero sum game.


It’s not owned by European Whites… its owned by Arabs.

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