P&O Ferries has settled an employment lawsuit brought forward by one of the nearly 800 seafarers it unlawfully fired in March.
The ferry operator settled a case with one of its former chefs for an undisclosed sum after the Dubai-owned company admitted breaking the law by firing 800 staff, without consultation, over a pre-recorded video call.
Former P&O chef John Lansdown said he had refused to sign a P&O Ferries’ “gagging order” that blocks other fired staff members from speaking publicly about the dispute.
“Facing the prospect of a very public employment tribunal, P&O Ferries have admitted that I was unfairly dismissed,” Lansdown said.
P&O laid off hundreds of UK workers last March with a view to replacing them with lower paid staff on paid at rates as low as £5.50 an hour.
“I, along with my colleagues and our respective friends and families, will never forget the brutal actions that P&O Ferries, supported by DP World, carried out earlier this year,” Lansdown said.
“The consequences have been severe. Not a day goes by where I don’t hear and see the very real consequences that the actions of P&O Ferries has had on the mental and physical well-being of my former colleagues.”
Lansdown said he had used the payout to make a substantial donation to the Sailors Children’s Society in Hull as well as a personal donation to the RMT National Dispute Fund.
“This was always about justice and accountability, never about money and personal gain,” Lansdown said in a statement released to the press.
The Sailors Children’s Society thanked Lansdown for his donation which it said “will be used to support disadvantaged children of seafarers living in poverty throughout the United Kingdom.”
P&O Ferries declined to comment.