'survival'  | 

Ferry operator P&O axes 800 staff jobs with immediate effect citing €100m losses

It has not been confirmed how many of the staff are Irish

Laura Lynott

P&O Ferries has confirmed it has made redundant 800 of its staff with immediate effect after suffering over €100 million losses "year on year."

The company has not confirmed how many of the staff are Irish or if the Irish office is affected.

A spokesperson for P&O Ferries said: “P&O Ferries plays a critical role in keeping trade flowing, supply chains moving, and connecting families and friends across the North and Irish seas and the English Channel. We have been at the heart of this service for years and we are committed to serving these vital routes.

“However, in its current state, P&O Ferries is not a viable business. We have made a £100m loss year on year, which has been covered by our parent DP World. This is not sustainable. Our survival is dependent on making swift and significant changes now. Without these changes there is no future for P&O Ferries.

“These circumstances have resulted in a very difficult but necessary decision, which was only taken after seriously considering all the available options. As part of the process we are starting today, we are providing 800 seafarers with immediate severance notices and will be compensating them for this lack of advance notice with enhanced compensation packages.

“In making this tough decision, we are securing the future viability of our business which employs an additional 2,200 people and supports billions in trade in and out of the UK. And we are ensuring that we can continue serving our customers in a way that they have demanded from us for many years.”

Earlier today, Irish passengers boarding P&O Ferries faced disruptions after the company cancelled all crossings ahead of the major announcement.

The UK-registered P&O Ferries, which sails major routes including between Ireland, Britain and France, said it had suspended services ahead of the announcement. The company denied it was going into administration.

"P&O Ferries is not going into liquidation," a P&O Ferries spokesperson said in a statement.

"We have asked all ships to come alongside, in preparation for a company announcement. Until then, services from P&O will not be running and we are advising travellers of alternative arrangements."

Dubai ports firm DP World bought the company in 2019. P&O has a fleet of more than 20 ships that sail across the Irish Sea, English Channel and North Sea, the firm's website said.

It has almost 4,000 members, employees and operates more than 30,000 sailings a year.

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