New P&O crew on less than £2 an hour, union claims
Agency workers who have been hired to replace P&O Ferries crews in Dover are being paid £1.81 an hour, a union claims.
This comes after at least 800 members of staff were sacked via a video call.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union called the move a “shocking exploitation” and “a betrayal of those who have been sacked”.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The news that the seafarers now on ships in British ports are to be paid 2.38 dollars an hour is a shocking exploitation of those Seafarers and another gut-wrenching betrayal of those who have been sacked.
“The rule of law and acceptable norms of decent employment and behaviour have completely broken down beneath the white cliffs of Dover and in other ports yet five days into this national crisis the government has done nothing to stop it.
“These ships of shame must not be allowed to sail.
“The government has to step in now and take control before it’s too late.”
A spokesperson for P&O added: “We have offered enhanced severance terms to those affected to properly and promptly compensate them for the lack of warning and consultation.
“The changes we’ve made bring us into line with standard industry practice.
“All affected crew who were working yesterday were notified face-to-face and in-person on board their vessels.”
As a number of ferries are registered in Cyprus, they are not required to pay the minimum wage required by UK law.
When questioned, P&O said the rate of pay for agency workers was inaccurate.
But the organisation declined to comment on how much agencies pay workers were being paid.
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