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‘Anti-Union’ Airline Offers Sacked P&O Ferries Union Workers a Lifeline as Cabin Crew

‘Anti-Union’ Airline Offers Sacked P&O Ferries Union Workers a Lifeline as Cabin Crew

A low-cost airline that has been blasted for its “anti-union stance” and “poor record on workers’ rights” has offered sacked P&O Ferries workers a lifeline and has encouraged them to become cabin crew.

“We can only imagine the worry that impacted P&O employees must be feeling right now,” commented Marion Geoffroy, managing director of the UK arm of Hungarian discounter Wizz Air.

“With transferable skillsets, we are confident that P&O Ferries employees would be well-positioned to join our team and look forward to welcoming new cabin crew to the growing Wizz Air family soon,” Geoffroy continued.

The offer echos one made by rival easyJet who was also quick to respond to the P&O Ferries mass sackings fiasco with the offer of fast-tracking cabin crew applications for the 800 workers who were made redundant with immediate effect on Thursday.

The decision to fire long-serving workers with zero consultation has resulted in widespread condemnation of P&O Ferries Dubai-based parent company.  Some experts believe the move may have breached employment law and government ministers have ordered a full review.

P&O Ferries insists that it had no other option but to dismiss its employees and replace them with lower-paid, non-unionised agency workers.  Some will be rehired on agency contracts and have been offered a financial sweetener if they accept the offer within the next few days.

The International Transport Workers federation slammed P&O management for the “shocking” decision to sack 800 staff with less than 24-hours notice.

“In the strongest possible terms we condemn P&O. We will not accept its move to axe the jobs of its loyal seafaring workforce with no notice,” the ITF’s general secretary Stephen Cotton commented.

The ITF has previously been a fierce critic of Wizz Air for what it called the airline’s “strong anti-union tendencies”.  Last month, a Danish institutional shareholder divested its shares in Wizz Air in protest that the airline’s treatment of workers.

The ITF believes Wizz Air’s record on workers’ rights has resulted in the airline struggling to recruit enough staff to keep up with its ambitious expansion plans.  In the UK, the airline is currently recruiting to fill positions in Gatwick, Luton, Doncaster Sheffield, and Cardiff.

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