A plan to cease P&O Ferries undercutting the minimal wage because it recruits new employees, will not be sufficient to “undo” its mass sackings as promised, a union is warning the federal government.
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, is poised to vary the legislation to close the ferry operator out of UK ports except it abandons “sweatshop” pay charges as little as £5.15 an hour.
He’s writing to Peter Hebblethwaite, the agency’s chief government, urging him to U-turn on the choice to sack 800 staff – with the risk that it should observe the wage flooring of £8.91 an hour, rising to £9.50 on 1 April.
However the maritime RMT union is saying the transfer doesn’t go far sufficient, after Mr Shapps final week, vowed to “undo” the mass sackings and shut a “loophole” that allowed them.
The transport secretary mentioned: “We’ll be returning to parliament with a package deal of measures to make it possible for state of affairs is undone,” – however No 10 then refused to again up the declare.
The Division for Transport is admitting that it isn’t proposing to vary the legislation to make sure the sacked staff are rehired and merely making use of political stress.
Alex Gordon, of the RMT, mentioned P&O should be pressured to go additional, by guaranteeing the dismissed seamen’s present employment contracts are honoured – not merely pay the minimal wage.
The union is planning to step up protests, concentrating on the maritime businesses concerned with recruiting new staff together with Clyde Marine Recruitment in Glasgow.
Mick Lynch, the RMT’s basic secretary, mentioned on Sunday: “There might be extra protests, extra campaigning and extra political stress this week as we ratchet up the combat.”
Keir Starmer has demanded more durable motion, together with in opposition to P&O’s guardian firm DP World, which is poised to obtain “£50m as one of many freeports”.
The Labour chief additionally mentioned they’re unanswered questions in regards to the warning the federal government obtained the night time earlier than the redundancies had been introduced 11 days in the past.
Sir Keir referred to as the “pre-recorded video” alerting employees to their sackings “completely stunning” – as was Mr Hebblethwaite admitting P&O had “determined it was higher to interrupt the legislation”.
Labour had warned of the loophole within the legislation, Sir Keir mentioned, including: “Had that loophole within the legislation been closed two years in the past, they might not have misplaced their jobs in the way in which they did.”
Final week, a authorities official admitted it had “no powers” to take P&O to courtroom – regardless of the agency admitting it broke the legislation by sacking the 800 staff with out consulting them.
Nevertheless, the stakes had been raised by Boris Johnson insisting the controversy will go to courtroom and telling MPs: “P&O clearly aren’t going to get away with it.”
Mr Shapps then made his promise, final Thursday, saying his legislation adjustments would “make it possible for state of affairs is undone”.