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Protesters at P&O base in Hull demand to speak to managers after sackings

Sacked workers joined union officials and members of the public as they walked into the compound past the Pride of Hull ferry on Friday.

18 March 2022

More than 200 protesters marched to the P&O ferry terminal in Hull and banged on the doors, demanding the management come out to talk.

A number of sacked workers joined union officials and members of the public to walk into the compound past the Pride of Hull ferry, which remains tied-up after Thursday’s sudden dismissal of 800 employees, who are being replaced with cheaper agency workers.

After banging on the locked doors of the deserted terminal on Friday, Hull East’s Labour MP Karl Turner said: “I’ve got some men and women outside who want to speak to you about the fact that they were sacked, summarily, yesterday, without notice.

Protesters stand outside the P&O building at the Port of Hull
Protesters stand outside the P&O building at the Port of Hull (Danny Lawson/PA)

“It’s no good doing a pre-recorded Zoom (video call) from afar. Get yourselves here and face those sacked men and women and explain to them why you’ve done what you’ve done.”

Mr Turner paid tribute to the Pride of Hull’s captain, who he said is still on board the vessel.

He also urged the Government to cancel all contracts with P&O and its parent company DP World.

“They’ve treated these workers absolutely abysmally,” the MP said.

The protest was peaceful and watched over by a handful of police officers.

As the crowd posed for a photograph outside the terminal building, they were joined by a contingent of prison officers from nearby Hull Prison.

Earlier, the protesters gathered in a car park just outside the P&O compound, where shadow secretary of state for climate change and net zero Ed Miliband told them: “Your fight is the fight of every decent-minded person across our country who is outraged by the behaviour of P&O – outrageous, appalling, bully-boy tactics of P&O that cannot be allowed to stand.”

Mr Miliband added: “What they (the Government) have to do is tell this to P&O: You will be a pariah company in this country if you persist with this decision.”

Seafarers who were working on the Pride of Hull yesterday refused to be identified over concerns they might jeopardise their severance package.

One man, in his 40s and from Hull, said his belongings were still on the ship.

He said he found out his job was lost by email, and added: “It’s despicable.”

On Friday, a handful of men in reflective protective clothing could be seen working on the deck of the Pride of Hull, which remained at the King George Dock.

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