International unions vote P&O’s Peter Hebblethwaite Worst Boss In The World

'Hebblethwaite topped the poll which included Jeff Bezos'

Tony Burke is the Co-Chair of the Campaign For Trade Union Freedom and President of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions.

The International trade union movement has voted P&O Ferries CEO Peter Hebblethwaite the World’s Worst Boss at its congress in Melbourne, Australia last week, attended by 1000 delegates from 122 countries.

Hebblethwaite topped the poll which included Jeff Bezos, Executive Chairman, Amazon; Alan Joyce, CEO, Qantas; Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO, Emirates Airline and Group; Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks and Gina Rinehart, Executive Chairman of Hancock Prospecting.

The short list of six nominations featured CEO’s of companies with discredited business models that exploit workers through low pay and insecure jobs, which also deny workers’ rights to join and collectively bargain with the companies.

Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the London based International Transport Workers Federation said: “First, Hebblethwaite became Britain’s most hated boss when he illegally sacked 786 seafarers in March in a pre-recorded Zoom call. Then he was voted the worst employer in Europe by the Congress of the European Transport Workers’ Federation in May. He had to drop off the panel of an industry event in the US after a scathing letter from the Chair of the US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Democrat Peter De Fazio, who called for him to be removed as a panellist. His disgrace has reached international heights now that he has been voted the Worst Boss in the World.”

Despite worldwide condemnation by unions, lawyers and politicians (including a handful of UK Tory minsters who criticised P&O Ferries and pledged to do something about it – but did little or nothing) shame-faced Hebblethwaite admitted to breaking the law – even saying that he would do it again.

He is still under investigation by the UK Insolvency Service for potential civil violations and could yet face legal action.

This should serve as reminder to Labour that it must honour its commitment to introduce laws to ban ‘fire and rehire’ and ‘fire and replace’ legislation as agreed in Labour’s New Deal For Workers, which Keir Starmer says an incoming Labour Government will do within the first 100 days of coming into office.

On the 3rd of December, the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom (supported by the Institute of Employment Rights) have organised a day-long conference, to bring the movement together, focusing our opposition to the anti-union laws and restrictions on the right to protest.

Registration and further details can be found here.

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