GMB call on government to support Ferry Industry and its workers

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As P&O start to furlough their staff, GMB expresses grave concerns for the nation's infrastructure and warns that ferry companies may go bust if the government fails to step in and provide much needed support for the industry

P&O Ferries have today announced to its employees and their trade unions that they are to start furloughing their employees after a significant drop in the traffic using P&O’s ferries.  GMB Trade Union believes that if a proper support package for the industry is not forthcoming the company may have to consider how it trades in the UK.

Frank Macklin, GMB Regional Organiser says: “P&O carries 15% of the total goods that arrive into the UK every year and when they start advising us that they have a problem, we all have a problem and we need to sit up and listen to them. 33% of the total amount carried by P&O is food such as fresh fruit and vegetables, the rest is made up of other essential items such as medicines, medical equipment and also hazardous products such as detergents and other cleaning products.

“Whilst the current government continues to promise lots of popular and morale boosting schemes for employers, employees and the self-employed, it has become very apparent, very quickly that access to these schemes and promises is neither easy nor the quick fix that this government are announcing to great fanfare.

“The GMB are calling on the Government to step up and match its words with meaningful action that will help companies such as P&O to protect their staff and to allow them to get on with the job of getting goods to the right place at the right time, instead of having to worry if they will be able to pay their staff’s wages or be in a position to carry on trading.

“At the end of the day, it would appear that despite this virus slowly spreading across the globe to the UK, the UK government have been in hibernation and have woken up way too late to stop it from killing hundreds if not thousands of UK residents.  The government also seems to be lacking when it comes to keeping the essential logistical operation moving.

“It is now time that this government is held to account for its actions or in this case its lack of action.

“The GMB Trade Union is demanding that the government get around the table with the Trade Unions and the Ferry operators to ensure that no one is left behind in the effort to keep this industry running whilst we are in the deep crisis in which we find ourselves today.”


Media enquiries:

Frank Macklin on 07983326743 or