Protests planned against job cuts as pressure mounts on P&O

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has planned a protest in Glasgow agains P&O Ferries. It’ll take place outside a recruitment office which was reportedly involved in hiring staff to replace sacked union members on P&O’s ferry routes.


The union’s general secretary Mick Lynch said the demonstration will take place on Monday 28 March from 11am. It will be at the offices of Clyde Marine Recruitment on Govan Road.

On Saturday 26 March, the union’s Scottish leader Gordon Martin hinted at the protest taking place. And Martin publicly accused the recruitment firm of hiring staff to replace the almost 800 sacked seafarers.

The P&O Ferries-operated European Causeway vessel in dock at the Port of Larne, Co Antrim
The P&O Ferries-operated European Causeway vessel in dock at the Port of Larne, Co Antrim (PA)

Moreover, a number of demonstrations have already taken place at ports around the UK. They come amid calls for P&O Ferries’ chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite to resign over the company’s decision to use agency staff on cheaper salaries, including on the Cairnryan-Larne line between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

And on Saturday, dockers refused to load a P&O ferry “in solidarity with the 800 seafarers illegally sacked by P&O”:

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Meanwhile Clyde Marine Recruitment has said it had no prior knowledge about the mass sacking on Thursday 24 March.

More protests

Moreover, on 2 April the People’s Assembly has organised demos in solidarity with the sacked workers and against the cost of living crisis:

People’s Assembly general secretary Laura Pidcock said:

There has to be a response to say none of this is inevitable. None of this has to be like this. There is a different way the system can be run, which means working class people don’t have to pay for the failures of the market or the failures of the government to handle things. And it’s only us that will deliver that through our action, through our protest, through our industrial and street based demands.

Please come out on the 2nd of April if you can. Support those unions. Solidarity with the P&O workers and every other worker in industrial dispute right now.

Meanwhile, Unite’s Howard Beckett suggested:

RMT is also planning to blockade the Cairnryan port on 8 April.

‘Nowhere to hide’

Speaking ahead of Monday’s protest, Lynch said:

We are making it clear that there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide for those who have been complicit in the P&O jobs massacre.

We will keep the pressure on at every opportunity until we get justice for the P&O workers

We look forward to another good turnout tomorrow after the weekends protests and greatly appreciate the remarkable solidarity from our trade union colleagues in this dispute. ‎

There will be more protests, more campaigning and more political pressure this week as we ratchet up the fight and harness the public anger at the jobs carve up on our ferries.

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