fbpx

P&O Ferries suspends sailings but denies liquidation reports

The company said it would be making an announcement on its long-term future.

17 March 2022

P&O Ferries has suspended sailings ahead of a “major announcement” but insisted it is “not going into liquidation”.

In an internal company statement, the ferry operator said it will be “making a major announcement today” which would “secure the long-term viability of P&O Ferries”.

The statement added: “To facilitate this announcement all our vessels have been asked to discharge their passengers and cargo and stand by for further instructions.

“This means we’re expecting all our ports to experience serious disruption today.”

Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) general secretary Mick Lynch said there is “growing speculation that the company are today planning to sack hundreds of UK seafarers and replace them with foreign labour”.

He added: “We have instructed our members to remain onboard and are demanding our members across P&O’s UK operations are protected, and that the Secretary of State intervenes to save UK seafarers from the dole queue.”

P&O Ferries, which transports passengers and freight, is owned by Dubai-based logistics giant DP World.

It operates these four routes: Dover to Calais; Hull to Rotterdam; Liverpool to Dublin; and Cairnryan, Scotland, to Larne, Northern Ireland.

Sailings between Hull and Zeebrugge, Belgium, were axed in January 2021.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, P&O Ferries warned in May 2020 that around 1,100 workers could lose their jobs as part of a plan to make the business “viable and sustainable”.

A spokesman for the firm said: “P&O Ferries is not going into liquidation.

“We have asked all ships to come alongside, in preparation for a company announcement.

“Until then, services from P&O will not be running and we are advising travellers of alternative arrangements.”

The company that would become P&O was founded in 1837 after signing a government contract to transport post by boat between London and the Iberian Peninsula.

More from Perspective

Get a free copy of our print edition

News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.