Mick Lynch rips into P&O Ferries CEO after committee grilling on seafarers’ working conditions 

Ferry company boss admits staff paid under £5 an hour, while he received 'bumper bonus’

P&O Ferries RMT

The General Secretary of the RMT union has condemned the CEO of P&O Ferries after he admitted to paying staff under £5 an hour. 

It comes as Peter Hebblethwaite, the boss of P&O ferry company which unlawfully sacked over 700 seafarers just over two years ago, faced questions in a Parliamentary Committee performance today. 

During the grilling, Hebblethwaite said he received a salary of £325,000 per annum and a bonus of £183,000, while he also admitted that workers for the company were paid as little as £4.87 an hour. 

Previously the company had suggested the lowest pay was £5.15 an hour, before journalists were able to analyse staff payslips and found some people earning £4.87. At the time, P&O said , P&O said “we don’t recognise the pay rates you are referencing”. 

Hebblethwaite went on to admit not knowing how long seafarers worked on board ships without a break, however evidence has found some workers not having leave for 17 weeks straight, which falls outside of what is considered safe working conditions internationally. 

The RMT union also highlighted that not a single Tory MP had turned up to the parliamentary questioning to examine the UK working conditions of seafarers. 

Mick Lynch slammed the “bumper bonuses” and condemned the CEO for his role at the disgraced company. 

“Peter Hebblethwaite should be in the dock for what his company is responsible for,” said Lynch. 

“Yet he is allowed to pontificate in Parliament, failing several times to be accurate and retaining bumper bonuses throughout his tenure as the head of P&O ferries.

“Maritime communities have not recovered from the mass sackings of seafarers in 2022 and the government has not passed laws that will help deter other employers doing the same thing in the future.

“Our shipping industry needs investment in skills, good terms and conditions for ratings and companies like DP World which own P&O, to be ejected from the country to prevent mass exploitation of seafarers.”

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

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