Ferry service P&O Ferries, which laid off 800 staff at the end of March to survive, is giving its dockworkers and security guards in the Netherlands a 10% pay rise this year, union FNV reported on Tuesday. Next year another 2 percent and an inflation adjustment will be added. “We stopped for quite a long time,” says FNV director Niek Stam.
P&O Ferries immediately laid off all of its eight hundred UK employees at the end of March via the Zoom video call service. The company was struggling with money and said it would no longer be viable without major changes. All laid-off workers have been replaced by less expensive temporary workers.
Due to the massive layoff, the ferry service was suspended for days. The first ferry between Rotterdam and Hull, the only connection to the Netherlands with the ferry service, did not restart until a week after the layoff.
But now there seems to be money for dock staff and security guards in the Netherlands. They will receive a salary increase of 2%, an inflation correction of 3.3% and, in addition, compensation for an adapted working hours. In total, this represents an increase of 10%. In 2023, an additional 2% and an inflation correction will be added.
The FNV is not afraid that this will cause new problems for the company and that more staff will have to let go. “I have worked for P&O for 23 years and in recent years we have regularly stepped back to ensure job security. In the meantime, we have seen salary increases and more investment at other shipping companies So we stopped being compliant,” Stam says.
No one at P&O Ferries could yet be reached for comment.