P&O boss calls Shapps’s bluff; what consequences will the firm face?

Grounded: P&O Ferries are being held in dock after failing government safety checks. What other penalties, can Grant Shapps devise for the firm until it delivers an equitable deal for its wrongly-sacked workers.

P&O Ferries boss Peter Hebblethwaite has refused to rehire 800 UK staff after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned him to take them back or face “consequences”.

Shapps’s bluff has been called. What is he going to do?

Shapps has already said the government is reviewing all its contracts with P&O Ferries and its parent firm, ports operator DP World. It’s hard to see how he could justify continuing any of those contracts in the face of this continuing defiance of the law.

And it has already grounded several ships after they failed safety checks.

Hebblethwaite knew before he embarked on the mass sacking that he had not informed the government of his intention to carry it out in the legally necessary time period.

But he has insisted that his decisions – and the illegal way he has carried them out – were the only way to save the firm, as it was losing £100 million per year.

If he were to reverse the sackings, he has said, then the whole company would have to be dissolved, with the loss of a further 2,200 jobs.

It’s a test of character for the Tory government.

Boris Johnson’s cronies have had no problem with hitting down at society’s most vulnerable people.

But now they are faced with a large employer, defiantly saying it is going to do whatever it wants.

Will the government have the courage to treat Hebblethwaite the same as any other lawbreaker? Or will it cave in to Big Money, as usual?

Source: P&O boss refuses to reinstate 800 sacked staff as row with Government escalates

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1 thought on “P&O boss calls Shapps’s bluff; what consequences will the firm face?

  1. Stephen Brophy

    lost 100 million! with covid restrictions yes! but things are back to normal now! what was their annual profits before covid?

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