Britain on Wednesday unveiled a plan to prevent P&O boats from benefiting from its decision to lay off workers and replace them with cheaper agency staff, saying ports should be denied access to services.
Transport Minister Grant Shops said P&O’s decision to lay off 800 workers without notice and hire cheaper alternatives as part of a move by Britain to introduce new laws, strengthen labor rights and close loopholes would be prevented from happening again.
Shops said the “despicable attempt” to monetize cheap temporary workers who do not fall under the UK’s minimum wage law will fail if ports deny access to P&O boats unless the workers are paid the minimum wage.
“I would like to see British ports refuse to allow unpaid ferry companies. Importantly, this means that P&O boats will not be able to benefit from the shameful action taken, ”Shops told parliament.
In addition, the executive said the request was an interim measure, while the government was considering legal changes to make it a legal requirement.
The P&O’s decision to lay off hundreds of workers and replace them with agency staff has provoked widespread outrage among ministers, opposition lawmakers and the unions.
Shops announced a number of measures in response to P&O’s decision, including its aim of seeking international “minimum wage corridors” with allies to ensure that workers are not paid below British prices.
P&O Ferris on Tuesday rejected the government’s request to hire workers who were laid off two weeks ago, saying it would lead to the collapse of the company.
“My message to P&O boats is: The game is over. Re-employ those who want to come back, and pay a decent wage to all your workers, all of your workers,” he shouted.
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