P&O Ferries boss Peter Hebblethwaite trashed the once-loved shipowner’s reputation and is an industry disgrace
3 October 2022
Disgraced P&O Ferries boss Peter Hebblethwaite clearly feels like the dust has settled following the unlawful sacking of 786 seafarers by Zoom in March, and it's now time to start promoting himself again.
His plan? To rewrite history.
In a recent fawning interview with Hebblethwaite in the lobby group Interferry magazine, the discredited director makes a number of false claims to justify his poor performance.
Here we seek to redress that balance with a few home truths:
FACT: Hebblethwaite took the decision to illegally fire 786 seafarers in March on a pre-recorded Zoom call, breach of UK laws on consultation and notification.
FACT: Hebblethwaite admitted to breaking the law when questioned by UK lawmakers. He said he would do it again.
FACT: P&O Ferries used handcuff-trained, balaclava-wearing security guards to remove its dedicated, unionised seafarers off ships, replacing them with non-unionised workers, many paid a fraction of the UK National Minimum Wage.
FACT: After firing its experienced crew, the UK coastguard repeatedly detained P&O Ferries' ships for lack of crew training including fire safety and lifeboat drills.
FACT: Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) with unions were renegotiated throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, with the most recent secured in 2018.
FACT: Union agreements ensured tours of duty with enough rest time and shore leave for the safe operation of vessels. That required 2.2 crew per ship.
FACT: Non-unionised P&O Ferries crew from Malta-based manager IFM are working 17 weeks straight with no shore leave.
FACT: P&O Ferries took millions of pounds in government subsidies during COVID-19
Peter Hebblethwaite does not represent maritime industry leaders and has not made the ferry industry attractive, rewarding or secure for its workers.
Together we must ensure P&O Ferries' illegal actions are never repeated.
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