P&O forced to pay out £36.5 MILLION to workers after firing all 800 crew in shocking ambush

P&O ferries has been forced to pay out £36.5 million to workers after it fired all 800 of them in one go.

The company was labelled “appalling” after employees were ambushed via Zoom and reportedly given just five minutes to get their stuff and get off ships.

P&O has now announced details of what it says is “believed to be the largest compensation package in the British marine sector” after last Thursday’s ambush.

The ferry operator said the total value of the settlement is £36.5 million and 575 of the 786 seafarers affected are "in discussions to progress with the severance offers".

No employee will receive less than £15,000 said the company and it is offering to pay 2.5 weeks uncapped salary for each year employed rather than the statutory 1 or 1.5 week.

A spokesperson for P&O Ferries said: “This has been an incredibly tough decision for the business: to make this choice or face taking the company into administration.

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“This would have meant the loss of 3,000 jobs and the end of P&O Ferries.

“In making this hard choice, we have guaranteed the future viability of P&O Ferries, avoided large-scale and lengthy disruption, and secured Britain’s trading capacity.”

Speaking in the wake of P&O’s action, Huw Merriman, who chairs the Transport Select Committee, said: “P&O, this once-great flag carrier of the seas, have made an appalling error.”

After the announcement, security teams in balaclavas were then drafted in to remove P&O staff.

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Defiant captain Eugene Favier refused to leave his Pride of Hull ferry in protest and barred cops and security from boarding.

Other workers blocked roads near Hull and Dover as queues of lorries built up.

Passengers were marched off ships, or stopped from boarding, leaving thousands stranded.

The Pride of Hull mutiny lasted six hours until P&O provided terms of the crew’s redundancy agreements — at Mr Favier’s insistence.

He remained on board while crew disembarked the Hull-Rotterdam ferry over a covered gangplank.

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Agency crew hired by P&O Ferries could reportedly be paid as little as £2.60 an hour to replace old staff.

One ex-employee blasted the move a "money-grabbing betrayal" while union bosses compared the new pay packets to modern slave labour.

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