Transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has committed to deliver reforms that will prevent scandals such as P&O from happening again.
“I look forward to continuing to extend the work that my predecessor set running to build that relationship, to improve the workplace environment for our seafarers and to ensure that terrible decisions taken by P&O cannot happen again,” she told Commons on Thursday after mounting calls for action.
SNP transport spokesperson Gavin Newlands said Parliament had “yet to see the action match the rhetoric” from the UK Government when it came to P&O’s unfair dismissal of 800 seafarers in March.
The ferry operator then proceeded to hire cheaper agency workers to replace those sacked.
Chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite admitted in front of a parliamentary joint committee P&O had broken the law when it didn’t consult trade unions before sacking the seafarers.
“Given the chief executive himself admitted to this House that he had disregarded employment law and would do so again, when will the Insolvency Service finally deliver their decision and strike him off as a director?” asked shadow transport minister, Labour MP Mike Kane.
A DfT spokesperson rebutted the accusations saying.: “We reacted swiftly and decisively against P&O Ferries’ appalling treatment of its staff.
“Earlier this year we set out a nine-point plan to improve their pay and conditions, including a Seafarers’ Wages Bill to ensure they are paid at least the equivalent to the National Minimum Wage.”