Labor P&O requests Kwasi Kwarteng to take legal action against the ferry

Labor has called on the business secretary to take legal action against P&O Ferry for its “scandalous” decision to dismiss 800 workers without warning, which the party says is a criminal offense.

Shadow Transport Secretary Lewis High, Deputy Leader Angela Rainer, and Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds have written to Quasi-Quarten, asking if he would begin the process of calling the ferry company a “scandalous move.”

Under section 193 of the Trade Union Labor Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, employers who want to make more than 100 people redundant have a responsibility to notify the business secretary of their plans before giving notice to the workers. The employer must do this at least 45 days before the dismissal.

P&O Ferry fired 800 workers on Thursday, replacing them with cheap company workers. It came up that the ministers were informed in advance about the public redundancy.

In their letter to Quarteng, Labor MPs wrote: “An employer who fails to provide that notice is committing a criminal offense and must pay an unlimited fine. As Secretary of State, it is up to you to take this step. “

They asked: “Would you initiate criminal proceedings against P&O Ferry, as well as independent directors and directors authorized under the law? If not, can you explain why?”

Labor added: “If an exploitative employer can escape without any consequences of this heinous act, it will give the green light to bad bosses across the country.”

Kwarteng wrote on P&O Ferry on Friday, outlining the government’s “anger and frustration” over the way the company handled the redundancies. He asked the ferry company multiple questions as to why employers failed to follow the expected process of dismissing a large number of workers.

Quarteng has given the company until 5pm on Tuesday, March 22, to respond before deciding whether to make a formal complaint to prosecuting authorities.

The Labor and Trade Union Congress (TUC) is urging all lawmakers to support the opposition’s proposal to ban “fire and retire”, a practice where workers are released only to be re-employed on bad terms.

Labor is expected to force an emergency vote on the issue in parliament on Monday.

A Commons bill that would ban the practice was blocked by ministers last October. The government then said it opposed such action, but believed the law was the wrong way to respond.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady called on all party MPs to “do the right thing” and support the Labor movement.

“P&O Ferry and its owner DP World have worked without shame. We can’t let them off the hook, ”he said. “Rogue employers need to know that they can’t escape by treating workers like disposable labor.”

The TUC has called on ministers to use the growing scandal as a catalyst to improve workers’ rights by bringing in an employment bill.

O’Grady called on the company to immediately reinstate all dismissed workers, without any loss of pay.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak criticized the ferry company’s treatment of workers.

“What we see is horrific, the way they treat their staff is horrible, it’s wrong,” Sunak told the BBC on Sunday.

He added that the ministers were examining the company’s activities and whether they were complying with the rules of dismissal.

Employment attorneys have reacted with surprise to the company’s move to dismiss 800 crew members from Neil, saying P&O ferries have violated various laws, possibly exposing them to unfair dismissal claims.

Over the weekend, protests were held in ports across the UK. Amid growing anger against the company’s decision, trade union leaders and politicians have joined P&O ferry workers in Dover, Hull, Liverpool and Larne, with more protests planned for the next day, including outside Parliament on Monday.

On Sunday, P&O warned customers that its services “could not continue for the next few days”.

The company said it was “advising passengers on alternative arrangements” for its cross-channel and Irish Sea routes.

A spokesman for P&O Ferry said it had decided to make the workers redundant after a 100 million loss, “as a last resort and after full consideration of all other options”.

“Finally, we conclude that the business will not survive without a fundamentally altered crowing system, which will inevitably result in redundancy,” they say.


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