The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has confirmed that it is holding P&O ferry The Pride of Kent following a safety inspection, after another ferry was detained last Friday
A second P&O ferry has been detained following a safety inspection on the back of the firm sacking 800 staff so as to bring in cheaper agency workers.
After completing a safety inspection, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has stated that it was satisfied with its findings. “in the process”The Pride of Kent will be held on Monday.
After dumping 800 seafarers on March 17, the firm caused outrage and protests in all ports.
P&O boss Peter Hebblethwaite will appear before a Scottish Parliament committee on Tuesday, after he was heavily criticised over the job cuts.
A spokesperson for the MCA confirmed that Pride of Kent was being held.
AFP via Getty Images
They said: “Our surveyors are in the process of detaining the Pride of Kent. We are awaiting confirmation of all the detainable items.”
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary of the United Kingdom, confirmed the news by tweeting that the ship was being held after an inspection. “safety will not be compromised”.
It follows the detention of another P&O vessel which was held in the Northern Ireland port of Larne on Friday due to “failures on crew familiarisation, vessel documentation and crew training”.
Rail, Maritime and Transport union stated that it believes the MCA acted in response to “multiple safety and operational breaches”This includes the wearing of breathing apparatus.
The union repeated its demand that the Government seize P&O’s entire fleet and take action to get them back in service with the sacked crew reinstated.
STEVE FINN PHOTOGRAPHY)
Mick Lynch, General Secretary, said: “The seizing of the Pride of Kent by the MCA this evening should be adequate evidence for the Government that the gangster capitalist outfit P&O are not fit and proper to run a safe service after the jobs massacre.
“It’s rare enough for the MCA to impound a ferry but P&O have now had two in a week after the jobs carve up which speaks volumes about the dire state of their operation.
“It’s now high time for these important vessels to be taken over under public control with the sacked crews reinstated as the only way to get these crucial ferry routes back running safely.”
According to the MCA, European Causeway, another vessel belonging to the firm, is still under arrest in Larne.
Shapps had written to Mr Hebblethwaite on Monday, threatening to bring a “package of measures”To Parliament to stop the company paying less than the minimum wage
“Through that package, I intend to block the outcome that P&O Ferries has pursued, including paying workers less than the minimum wage,”He stated.
On Wednesday, the measures might be unveiled.
The minimum wage in the UK for people aged 23 and above is £8.91 per hour.
Mr Hebblethwaite, whose basic annual salary is £325,000, told MPs on March 24 the average pay of the agency crew is £5.50 per hour.
After appearing before a Westminster committee last Wednesday, he will now face the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee Tuesday.
Irish Ferries began operating on the Dover to Calais route in June 2021 in competition with P&O Ferries.
A P&O Ferries spokesman reportedly said: “We fully welcome the Government’s commitment to increasing the minimum wage for all seafarers working in British waters.
“Since the beginning, we have advocated for equal pay and conditions on British ferry routes.
“Our announcement is not about reducing seafarer’s wages, it is to enable us to have a fully flexible crewing model that allows us to meet the demands of our customers.
“We did not announce the savings that we expected, however. They are not only due to the reduction of wages but also from eliminating job duplication and the benefits that we will experience from greater flexibility.