Non-motoring > P and O Miscellaneous
Thread Author: CGNorwich Replies: 104

 P and O - CGNorwich
Hope no one has a ferry booked. Looks like they are about to sack all their staff


 P and O - Bromptonaut
And they have:

www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/mar/17/po-ferries-halts-sailings-before-major-announcement

Interesting to see how the levelling up agenda deals with that.

If the ships are alongside for long then I guess supply chains will be beggared up as well.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Thu 17 Mar 22 at 13:20
 P and O - Runfer D'Hills
Used to use P&O Dover-Calais quite a bit if the tunnel price was too steamy for a particular crossing.

Fairly grotty ships though. Mainly use Stena for my Irish trips. Much nicer vessels.
Last edited by: Runfer D'Hills on Thu 17 Mar 22 at 13:38
 P and O - BiggerBadderDave
Always reminds of Triangle. Wouldn't mind sharing a bunk with Kate O'mara (if she wasn't dead).
 P and O - Bromptonaut
>> Always reminds of Triangle. Wouldn't mind sharing a bunk with Kate O'mara (if she wasn't
>> dead).

Sadly, all of us here except Peter are old enough to 'get' that reference.
 P and O - Zero
>> Always reminds of Triangle. Wouldn't mind sharing a bunk with Kate O'mara (if she wasn't
>> dead).

I have seen her acting in that, its assumed she was.

here you go

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqFHjpXkBbw&list=PLTLZ1lg0P-ESBqW7gNqRj6A7mE84kP1zX&ab_channel=Mark%27sMemories
 P and O - Crankcase

>>
>> I have seen her acting in that, its assumed she was.

Funnily enough, saw her acting about three weeks ago in this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYGYLNWHtCM
 P and O - tyrednemotional
>> Wouldn't mind sharing a bunk with Kate O'mara (if she wasn't dead).

...you getting fussy as you get older...?
 P and O - smokie
I worked for P&O in Dover (on computers, not ships) for about 8 months after the Coal Board. The Herald of Free Enterprise went down while I was there.
 P and O - Zero
Lets see, you worked at the coal board - it was abolished. P&O? that one sunk. Wang? Well that went TU

I see a trend here.
 P and O - smokie
Haha Z good point!! Place your bets on Barclays then, that's where I ended up :-)
 P and O - Zero
Herald of free Enterprise, I know someone where I used to work who was on board that, and survived. He was then injured in the Clapham rail crash less than 10 years later.
 P and O - zippy
>> Herald of free Enterprise...

Lots of locals were on that, using a newspapers go to France for £1 offer.
 P and O - zippy
>> I worked for P&O in Dover (on computers, not ships) for about 8 months after
>> the Coal Board. The Herald of Free Enterprise went down while I was there.
>>

I had a mate that worked on computers there too.
 P and O - Kevin
>The Herald of Free Enterprise went down while I was there.

Well, you learn something every day. I always thought it was because they'd left the bow doors open.
 P and O - Bobby
> The Herald of Free Enterprise went down while I was there.

My boss at Norwich Union was the Captain’s brother. My boss was Peter Lewry.
 P and O - Robbie34
The Herald of Free Enterprise was owned by Townsend Thoresson and led to their demise.
 P and O - smokie
The European Ferries group (which actually I was employed by, but I worked at P&O main office in Dover) owned P&O, but I can't remember whether P&O or EF owned Townsend Thoreson.

The TT brand was discontinued after Zeebrugge as it was considered tainted, with all those pics of the boat on its side with Townsend Thoreson uppermost.
 P and O - Zero
www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60779001

Bussing in cheap replacement crew and security staff to force the old crew off

I am no lefty leaning union loving commie by any means, but sorry thats right out of order. Not at all sure its legal either.
 P and O - zippy
>> www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60779001
>>
>> Bussing in cheap replacement crew and security staff to force the old crew off
>>
>> I am no lefty leaning union loving commie by any means, but sorry thats right
>> out of order. Not at all sure its legal either.
>>

It certainly sucks and they can't claim it's making the staff redundant if the jobs are still there.

Sacked by video, as well, just one step off being sacked over the phone / by text.
 P and O - zippy
Missed the edit...

The Daily Mail is reporting that security staff have been employed to clear the ships and have handcuffs to use.

Is civilian use of handcuffs legal (against non consenting individuals)?
 P and O - Lygonos
Maritime law innit.
 P and O - Zero
>> Maritime law innit.

Not tied up to a British dockside it aint. Maritime law is enforced at sea by Officers on board, the RN and HM Coastguard.

Ports have their own warranted police forces who enforce civil and criminal law
Last edited by: Zero on Thu 17 Mar 22 at 16:50
 P and O - Fullchat
"Is civilian use of handcuffs legal (against non consenting individuals)?"
As someone pointed out Maritime Law and Captains Orders apparently. Just checked that wth someone who was employed in that role on P&O North Sea Ferries. A lot of retired Bobbies had the job.
The actual Seamen are UK. The staff are either Portuguese or Filipino depending on if the boat is Rotterdam or Hull based.
We lost the Hull Zeebrugge ferry last year.
 P and O - sooty123
We lost the Hull Zeebrugge ferry last year.
>>

Seems rather careless
 P and O - Zero
>> We lost the Hull Zeebrugge ferry last year.
>> >>
>>
>> Seems rather careless


Not lost exactly, the locations of the vessels are known, just not in Hull or Zeebrugge

or anywhere on a path between the two
 P and O - Duncan
>> The Daily Mail is reporting that security staff have been employed to clear the ships
>> and have handcuffs to use.
>>
>> Is civilian use of handcuffs legal (against non consenting individuals)?
>>

Pendant Corner (been a bit quiet lately)

Well the police use handcuffs against non consenting individuals and the police are civilians.
 P and O - PeterS
Agreed; it seems like a shocking approach. Dubai owned though; hardly the bastion of employment rights. Worse even than the BA ultimatum of imposing a new contract on its workforce a few years back. The use of force must be illegal? Though I read the the captain of the ferry in Hull as pulled up the gang plank, invoked naval law and is refusing the police entry. Says they have enough supplies to last indefinitely!
 P and O - smokie
Did it have a large duty free shop? :-)
 P and O - sooty123
I wonder how P&O trained them ? I'm not sure what type of courses they can do or have to do, there must be some sort of body overseeing that sort of thing. Anyone know?
 P and O - Zero
>> I wonder how P&O trained them ? I'm not sure what type of courses they
>> can do or have to do, there must be some sort of body overseeing that
>> sort of thing. Anyone know?

Depends on where the ships are registered. In p&Os case - Cyprus.
 P and O - Duncan
I am dreadfully sorry, but I find it difficult to have total sympathy with the plight of the members of the RMT union.

I can remember Bob crow.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Crow
 P and O - Bromptonaut
>> I can remember Bob crow.
>>
>> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Crow

With Jimmy Knapp and Sid Weighell beforehand.

Crow died 8 years ago. Like the two above a good old fashioned union leader in an industry where mass membership meant they got things done for their members.

Why the late Mr Crow means, as you seem to say, that P&O ferry staff had it coming is beyond me.

I suspect though that the presence of strong unions with recognised collective bargaining agreements was why P&O went for the 'shock and awe' option.
 P and O - Zero
I quite liked Bob Crow. I think he based himself on Peter Sellars character Fred Kite, and refined the character in a deliberate manner for maximum affect for his members who loved him and to fool the employers who were scared of him.

Very Very astute tho, very clever in his role, and very probably the most effective union leader ever.
 P and O - Duncan
www.rmt.org.uk/news/tube-strike-goes-ahead-next-week/

That link could have been posted any time over the twenty? thirty? years. It just happens to be about next week's strike.
 P and O - Duncan
Brompy said :-
Crow died 8 years ago. Like the two above a good old fashioned union leader in an industry where mass membership meant they got things done for their members.

Zed said:-
I quite liked Bob Crow. I think he based himself on Peter Sellars character Fred Kite,

Of course, I jus doan unnerstand. 'e was a luvly man. Loved kids, do'ed on 'is ole nan. straight as a die, 'e woss.

That is of course if we ignore the misery that he and his union members heaped upon the British public over so many years.

As ye sow, so shall ye reap.
 P and O - Zero

>> As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

Yeah, If you were a boss he'd have eaten you for breakfast. And stuffed your pedant meter where the sun don't shine. (if there was room after the irony meter had found a home)
 P and O - Bobby
Didn’t realise till last night that RMT were supporters of Brexit as it would free their workers from all the EU red tape……
 P and O - Falkirk Bairn
The Aberdeen to Shetlands Ferries are run by a Contractor

Serco - some UK staff but the many are "cheap labour" from Asia - they do not need work permits for the UK because they live on the boat for many months and then go home for a holiday.

A few years back the then contractor was accused of exploitation as they foreign staff were on much less than the UK minimum wage! UK minimum wage legislation was "not applicable"
 P and O - Duncan
>> Didn’t realise till last night that RMT were supporters of Brexit as it would free
>> their workers from all the EU red tape……

Now where did I put my irony meter? I could have sworn I had it a minute ago?
 P and O - Duncan
>> Didn’t realise till last night that RMT were supporters of Brexit as it would free
>> their workers from all the EU red tape……

pbs.twimg.com/media/FOEqEYAXsAUsCtw?format=jpg&name=900x900
 P and O - zippy
The new crews are being paid £2.60 an hour whilst at sea!

www.tradewindsnews.com/cruise-and-ferry/p-o-crews-sacked-in-three-minute-call-as-replacements-paid-2-60-per-hour-/2-1-1187011
Last edited by: zippy on Fri 18 Mar 22 at 18:11
 P and O - smokie
Haha that didn't work out so well then did it... (Duncan's link...)
Last edited by: smokie on Fri 18 Mar 22 at 18:13
 P and O - Terry
P&O actions seem unacceptable - an unpleasant surprise for those involved.

Whether they have broken any laws is unclear. The letter from the CEO to affected staff refers to "800 Jersey contracted seafaring colleagues".

Are they simply selecting Jersey staff because they are subject to different employment laws. Why are employees who apparently live in the mainland UK contracted with a Jersey company - tax benefits??

If P&O are reducing costs by 50% as reported, were existing staff paid unrealistic salaries. This does not make P&O actions any better - but did staff contribute to the problem by insisting on unaffordable pay levels.
 P and O - Robin O'Reliant
A friend's son is a captain on one of the boats, he got a call yesterday to tell him the news though he is off with Covid.

He is expecting to be re-hired early next week on a new (reduced) contract.
 P and O - Zero
>> P&O actions seem unacceptable - an unpleasant surprise for those involved.
>>
>> Whether they have broken any laws is unclear.

Seems they have,

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60800520

 P and O - Bromptonaut
>> Seems they have,
>>
>> www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60800520

P&O say they were not subject to usual requirements as the ships were no registered in the UK.

Change made when Chris Grayling was the Minister but which went under the radar at the time.

www.lawgazette.co.uk/obiter/who-let-pando-off-the-legal-hook-one-name-springs-to-mind/5111959.article?
 P and O - PeterS
Employment contracts almost always set out the law they’re governed by, and I’m sure I read somewhere that the P&O Ferries staff contracts explicitly said they were to be construed under U.K. law. Having said that, the compensation they’re offering is far in excess of what they’d be entitled to under most circumstances so what benefit that is to the now sacked staff I don’t know. Hopefully the company is fined £10s and £10s of millions as well!!
 P and O - Zero
>> >> Seems they have,
>> >>
>> >> www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60800520
>>
>> P&O say they were not subject to usual requirements as the ships were no registered
>> in the UK.

Now admit they did


www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60862933
 P and O - CGNorwich
Interesting case. Would the workers have benefitted in the end if the company had obeyed the law, talked to the unions and ultimately gone into administration and the workers receiving statutory redundancy pay.
 P and O - Zero
>> Interesting case. Would the workers have benefitted in the end if the company had obeyed
>> the law, talked to the unions and ultimately gone into administration and the workers receiving
>> statutory redundancy pay.

The original thinking was, I think, just to dump them illegally and get away with it*. Now they have been found out, they seem to have found large severance payments. Indicates to me they are not on the verge of immediate bankruptcy.

*War in Ukraine, big news, good time to sneak this under the radar.
 P and O - Bromptonaut
>> The original thinking was, I think, just to dump them illegally and get away with
>> it*. Now they have been found out, they seem to have found large severance payments.
>> Indicates to me they are not on the verge of immediate bankruptcy.

I suspect that's a good analysis and that they'd only pay the minimum.

Subsequent media backlash and risk of adverse publicity when they're dragged through the Employment Tribunal and/or the courts has caused a reverse ferret.

They were employed through Jersey*, which I suspect has a tax advantage to the company. Average salary (and I know averages can mean several different things) is being quoted as £37k.

*Caledonian MacBrayne, with all their ferries registered in the UK, employ their seagoing crew via a Guernsey subsidiary.
 P and O - CGNorwich
They’ve probably cut the payroll by two thirds so the redundancy payments are affordable.

 P and O - Terry
P&O are part of a much larger group which could easily afford high redundancy payments.

However their owner may be under no obligation to fund P&O (a separate corporate entity) losses - they could simply choose to let them go under.

I also understand the offer to redundant staff is materially above what they may have received had statutory redundancy terms been applied or had P&O gone into receivership.

Management may have simply decided they wanted to make the changes quickly and move on.

The alternative would be protracted negotiations with a possible muddle as ships may have had a mix of staff on different contracts from different jurisdictions. This raises questions as to the basis of selection for redundancy and how they may be redeployed or offered alternatives.

None of the above should be taken as support for P&O actions which I think unacceptable - merely trying to understand why management did as they did.


 P and O - Manatee
>> P&O are part of a much larger group which could easily afford high redundancy payments.
>>
>> However their owner may be under no obligation to fund P&O (a separate corporate entity)
>> losses - they could simply choose to let them go under.

Not literally, I hope. But it wouldn't be the first time a well financed owner has let a subsidiary go bust.

>> I also understand the offer to redundant staff is materially above what they may have
>> received had statutory redundancy terms been applied or had P&O gone into receivership.

Is that before, or after the event and the outcry? I got the impression they had been shamed into it - could be wrong.

>> None of the above should be taken as support for P&O actions which I think
>> unacceptable - merely trying to understand why management did as they did.

Incompetence. Or cynicism. Earlier I saw what I took to be the CEO on BBC News saying that they were obliged to have a period of consultation but "decided not to" (I might be paraphrasing).
 P and O - Bromptonaut
>> Incompetence. Or cynicism. Earlier I saw what I took to be the CEO on BBC
>> News saying that they were obliged to have a period of consultation but "decided not
>> to" (I might be paraphrasing).

Somebody senior from P&O was in front of what I think was a Commons Select Committee today.

Basically they chose to ignore the law as no Trade Union was going to allow its members to be screwed over in the way contemplated.
 P and O - smokie
I can see why they would want to bypass the process. Consultation would be 28 or more days of flash strikes etc which wouldn't do the business much good. But unfortunately for them that's the way it works here, hope they get fined and appropriate (but not ridiculous) amount.

(One of our local Tesco was fined £160,000 for 30 garlic baguettes, a Skyr yoghurt and two plain soya yoghurts which were out of date, which I thought disproportionate.)
 P and O - Zero

>> (One of our local Tesco was fined £160,000 for 30 garlic baguettes, a Skyr yoghurt
>> and two plain soya yoghurts which were out of date, which I thought disproportionate.)

Have you tried out of date Skyr? Hangings too good for them
 P and O - Bromptonaut
>> Have you tried out of date Skyr? Hangings too good for them

I had to Google the product.

Is it even palatable in date?
 P and O - CGNorwich
By coincidence have just eaten a strawberry flavoured one. Unlike yogurt it’s virtually fat free as it’s made from skimmed milk. Has a thicker denser consistency than yogurt and high in protein. I rather like it.

Very on trend
 P and O - Zero
>> By coincidence have just eaten a strawberry flavoured one. Unlike yogurt it’s virtually fat free
>> as it’s made from skimmed milk. Has a thicker denser consistency than yogurt and high
>> in protein. I rather like it.
>>
>> Very on trend

When in date
 P and O - Manatee
hope they get fined and appropriate
>> (but not ridiculous) amount.
>>


For me, a ridiculous amount would be proportionate when they have done it knowingly and deliberately. Regulators etc. take a very dim view of wilful non-compliance

They were also supposed to notify the redundancy payments service before the start of the consultation period (ordinarily 45 days for 100+ redundancies). The penalty for not notifying the RPS is an unlimited fine.
 P and O - zippy
A director (MD or CEO) from the firm was being interviewed by a select committee yesterday.

He said that he would break the law again if he had to.

Surely that’s grounds for being barred as a director?
 P and O - Terry
Unquestionably misconduct.

But I believe there is a process to go through before this can happen - probably involving lawyers and courts etc.

If he puts up a defence, rather than meekly accepting the result, if could take months.
 P and O - Bromptonaut
>> He said that he would break the law again if he had to.
>>
>> Surely that’s grounds for being barred as a director?

Possibly.

Legal analysis on the radio this morning is that there are two legal breaches.

The failure to follow the proper notice/consultation process would be remedied by the employee taking proceedings in the Employment Tribunal. There's no criminal offence for which they could be convicted/fined involved in that.

The potential offence is failure to notify various arms of government, including the Insolvency Service, where redundancies on this scale are contemplated.

The commentator however thought that conviction for the offence was not a nailed on certainty; P&O might have wriggle room.
 P and O - Falkirk Bairn
P&O Cruises, owned by Carnival in Miami, are bring out adverts to say that they are a completely different company from P&O Ferries.

Similar names - at one time they were owned by the same company but that was over 20 years ago.

 P and O - Rudedog
I heard the piece on the R4 Business news this morning and thought the issue is that they can't be prosecuted as they might have breeched a 'guideline' but there is no actual law to say they 'have' to consult and that this was something the Govt were going to look at and tighten up on.

Maybe that was why he was so blazon about saying it...

Doesn't the parent company have big stakes in many of the UK Free Ports?
 P and O - Terry
This is one for the lawyers:

- the ferries are registered overseas
- the staff were on contract to a Jersey company (not part of the UK!)
- P&O Ferries Holdings seems registered in the UK, but the corporate structure is complex.

The 1996 Employment Rights Act defines “employer”, in relation to an employee or a worker, means the person by whom the employee or worker is (or, where the employment has ceased, was) employed.

Whether P&O Ferries are actually responsible under the act is unclear. More likely their response will be governed by damage to the brand.

Knee jerk legislative changes (however desirable) may cause more problems than solutions. Making it onerous for shipping, aviation or freight companies to employ UK nationals may simply reduce opportunities, and encourage recruitment where employment rights are less enthusiastically enforced.
 P and O - smokie
"Boris Johnson supported Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in urging Peter Hebblethwaite to step down after his "brazen" law breaking, No 10 said."

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60872294

Oh really? Methinks he should lead by example.
 P and O - CGNorwich
I agree it was wrong and most likely illegal but

1 A company that would have gone bust survives
2 A proportion of the crew were happy to take the large payoff
3 as many people are working for the company as before albeit on lower wages. No doubt the new employees were happy to get the job
4 The public and industry still have a ferry company to provide competition
5 The government continues to receive tax from the company.

On the debit side some of the crew will need to find new jobs albeit in a buoyant employment market.


 P and O - zippy
>>
>> 1 A company that would have gone bust survives
>>

I worked, in a banking aspect, on the failure of one of the few UK recycled paper plants.

It was an amazing place, visiting reminded me of the interior scenes from The Forbidden Planet, but costs were an issue and there was over-capacity in the market, especially in light of reducing newspaper circulation.

The owners even sold the place with a multimillion pound dowry and an American company purchased it for £1. Shut it down and sold the land for a lot of money for re-development.

Basically, the situation appears to be the same re the Channel Ferries, there is over-capacity and the only way for all to survive is for one or more operators to close, sadly.

I don't know if this is a short term over-capacity and P&O are waiting for trade to pick up, whatever, they have gone about this in totally the wrong way.

 P and O - Bromptonaut
>> Basically, the situation appears to be the same re the Channel Ferries, there is over-capacity
>> and the only way for all to survive is for one or more operators to
>> close, sadly.

I think there's always been over capacity, certainly so as soon as a third operator gets involved.

When I first crossed Dover/Folkestone to Calais/Boulogne as the short sea crossings were then aged 13 in 1973 Sealink and Townsend Thoresen had a duopoly. Later in the seventies Normandy Ferries, possibly already a P&O subsidiary joined in and then dropped out again when the going got tough in the early eighties recession.

P&O bought out Townsend Thoresen in the late eighties and Sealink became Stena Line eventually merging with P&O. Sea France and later Norfolk Line appeared on the scene. Sea France, government support notwithstanding, was squeezed out. It begat My Ferry Link which again failed and was taken over by Norfolk Line's successor DFDS.

For a while we had a DFDS/P&O duopoly.

In the last couple of years Irish Ferries, who reportedly already crew their ships in the agency/foreign model now adopted by P&O, have moved in.

I'd imagine DFDS, with vessels registered mostly in France and presumably EU level staffing costs, will now come under pressure.
 P and O - Terry
Channel tunnel opened in 1994 and rapidly built up business - since 1998 passenger volumes have remained fairly constant.

This would have caused the existing ferry companies massive problems - all fighting for for a share of a smaller market. So mergers, takeovers, closures would have been par for the course for several years afterwards.

Then Covid and all volumes massively down with large losses, ships laid up, staff furloughed where possible. No surprise P&O were close to going to the wall.
 P and O - Zero
With the channel tunnel in situ, ferries across the short stretches to Europe are strategic rather than economic. That means they need to be there in case of a channel tunnel failure or the country will grind to a halt /starve.

Being strategic, there is some credence for having gov support. Plus you cant get an armoured brigade with challenger 2's, warriors, trojans on a le shuttle. And that though has very much been on the table recently. Marchwood sea mounting centre wouldn't cope.



 P and O - Crankcase
As a child we used the ferries. When I got married and went to France a few times in the nineties with Mrs C's folks, they were NOT happy about crossing the channel on a boat - so we used the hovercraft. Although bouncy, I think it took about 30 minutes, something like that?

They could live with that, whilst Mrs C and I actively enjoyed it. Went on the Princess Anne hovercraft I think.

Then they binned it, alas.

We did use one to cross to the Isle of Wight a couple of years ago - brilliant form of transport in my book.
 P and O - sherlock47
Not sure that in the options recounted so far anyone has mentioned the Dover Calais service that used a hydrofoil. I remember a trip where the weather was rough - only marginally suitable?, and the banging and shaking of the whole structure was (at best), worrying. Taliking to a fellow passenger who was a regular user, he told me that he had never experienced anything that bad. The only conclusion was that the 'Captain' lived in Dover and did not want to get stranded in France! I recall describing it as an accident waiting to happen, and never used it again.
 P and O - sherlock47
Could it have been Ostend Dover rather than Calais Dover?
 P and O - Bromptonaut
>> Not sure that in the options recounted so far anyone has mentioned the Dover Calais
>> service that used a hydrofoil.

Hoverspeed used a Incat wave piercing Catamarans in the nineties/noughties to supplement/replace the aging SRN 4 hovercraft. We travelled on one between Folkestone and either Calais or Boulogne in 2000.

It was quick but bumpy and very noisy. Not an experience I ever wanted to repeat.

Preferred Sea France for a while and then Norfolk Line to Dunkirk were cheap as chips in the mid/late noughties.

IIRC there was a service from Brighton to Dieppe using a Boeing Jetfoil - passenger only.
Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Sun 27 Mar 22 at 15:26
 P and O - smokie
I'm sure as staff I used a P&O hydrofoil but to Ostend or Zeebrugge, not Calais. I remember going up on the bridge on the return, and the capt trying to slice a floating log (I think we succeeded) and also we got buzzed by a low flying helicopter.

As staff we used to have free foot passenger crossings and favourable duty free prices. So a few of us in the IT dept used to do a non-landing crossing (ferry) on a Thursday night when in other jobs you may have gone down the pub. Free crossing, 200 fags £2 and a litre of spirit £2, and drinks were at duty free prices (unlike now!!). My leaving do was on a a ferry and everyone gifted me 200 fags and a bottle and I left with thousands of the things. I finished the fags years ago but still have multiple bottles of Pernod, Bacardi and whisky. :-) Also had one completely free car crossing pa (with trailer if reqd) and one each half-year which was a really small cost.

After leaving I bought a "carnet" of 10 hovercraft crossings a year for not a lot to use on the motor racing trips I used to do (mainly Le Mans and Spa)

 P and O - tyrednemotional
>> I'm sure as staff I used a P&O hydrofoil but to Ostend or Zeebrugge
>>

...the hydrofoil service was Dover-Ostend (and vv) run by RMT, the Belgian State ferry service (and some-time member of the Sealink alliance). After the Sealink days, I think they cooperated with P&O.

I've done that crossing a few times, not least because it was free on my "All stations and ships" BR leather pass.

At the time it was running, I also worked on the Sealink reservation system, which covered all the "consortium's" ferries.
Last edited by: tyrednemotional on Sun 27 Mar 22 at 16:50
 P and O - Zero
>> >> Not sure that in the options recounted so far anyone has mentioned the Dover
>> Calais
>> >> service that used a hydrofoil.
>>
>> Hoverspeed used a Incat wave piercing Catamarans in the nineties/noughties to supplement/replace the aging SRN
>> 4 hovercraft. We travelled on one between Folkestone and either Calais or Boulogne in 2000.

Used the Incats to get the car to the Channel Islands, they were ok didn't find them that bumpy. Also used the big cat Stenna HSS discovery to Holland a few times, thats now been scrapped due to its prodigious thirst - that rode fine despite its reputation for ripping off the nose at 40 knots in large swells.
 P and O - bathtub tom
Whatever happened to Sally Lines? My kids used to love the 'ball pits'.
 P and O - Bromptonaut
>> Whatever happened to Sally Lines? My kids used to love the 'ball pits'.

Went bust in the late nineties.
 P and O - bathtub tom
What happened to the ships?
 P and O - Falkirk Bairn
Google Sally line and the ship history up to 2008 is there
 P and O - CGNorwich
The Sally Star is now the Wasa Express currently moored in Nador Morrocco after travelling from Almeria Spain
 P and O - Zero
Been chaos at Dover due to P&O not operating (plus brexit sheet) for weeks now.

P&O should be nationalised, now, with no compensation to the owners, in Leu of fines and legal action.
 P and O - smokie
Must admit I assumed P&O were probably simply coming into line with other similar companies.

Did I read the other day that 799 of the 800 have accepted their offers and the only one who hasn't want the sous chef who made the front page of the Beeb news a couple of times, latterly because he is going to claim £79m from P&O?
 P and O - CGNorwich
I guess everyone has their price. I suspect everyone who wanted a job has found one and are planning for a nice holiday or a new car and all the replacement foreign crew are happy to have found a job.
 P and O - Zero

>> replacement foreign crew are happy to have found a job.

Except they don't , they don't have the relevant training and certificates to operate out of a British port. Hence no P&O ships sailing. And now no P&O revenue, large redundancy payments, its been a exercise out of the Putin self harm playbook.
 P and O - Duncan
>> Except they don't , they don't have the relevant training and certificates to operate out
>> of a British port. Hence no P&O ships sailing. And now no P&O revenue, large
>> redundancy payments, its been a exercise out of the Putin self harm playbook.

People who understand this stuff, don't know why some people persist in using Dover.
 P and O - Zero

>> People who understand this stuff, don't know why some people persist in using Dover.

Because it usually has the most capacity, its geographic location, and the lack of crossings elsewhere.
 P and O - sooty123
I'm not sure it always works out so neat and tidy.
 P and O - sooty123
www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61086897

Looks like it's getting worse for P&O, another ship detained.
 P and O - smokie
This jogged my memory about one of the many rounds of redundancies I went through at the company where I worked the longest.

On this occasion they laid off probably 25% of people in my tech area. There was a really clever and well regarded senior support guy who had been seconded elsewhere for a short while. I think the dept which was using him said he could be let go, so he was laid off, at about 11 am, and was walked out of the building with his belongings (as that was how it happened).

By about 2 our dept head heard what had happened and said he should not have been let go. He called him, and apparently said he could keep a good chunk of his redundancy if he came back, but the guy had already called a contact and got a better paid job so we lost him.
 P and O - Terry
P&O gave as an explanation for the unseemly (possibly illegal) redundancies that it was necessary to secure the future of the company and all other jobs.

By preventing the use of the P&O fleet the government are causing travel chaos and effectively doing that which the redundancies were intended to avoid - prevent company failure.

Refusing to issue operating licences due to safety concerns is, of course, the responsible thing for any regulatory authority to do.

But I can't help but wonder whether their actions are influenced by secondary motives - (a) prove that P&O are unfit to manage, (b) demonstrate that failure was inevitable, (c) dissuade other companies from similar redundancy action.
 P and O - Bromptonaut
>> But I can't help but wonder whether their actions are influenced by secondary motives -
>> (a) prove that P&O are unfit to manage, (b) demonstrate that failure was inevitable, (c)
>> dissuade other companies from similar redundancy action.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is wholly independent of government. Having worked for a similar Arm's Length Body in the past doing bidding of Ministers is absolutely counter to their culture.

What we're seeing with P&O is the equivalent of the CAA inspecting an airline and grounding it. Unlike aircrew who are allocated to any machine their ratings qualify them for crew belong to one ship so if they're not gelling it's the ship that's 'grounded'.

I don't think the MCA will be doing any favours though.
 P and O - Zero

>> I don't think the MCA will be doing any favours though.

Ring Ring "Hello MCA?" "sorry? you have sacked all the staff, including the officers, and have replaced them with non English speaking Vietnamese fisherman at £0.99p a day. Riiiiiiggghhht Ok. And you want to commence sailings tomorrow?" - long pause - "We'll be over tomorrow morning, dont go anywhere"
 P and O - Zero
>> This jogged my memory about one of the many rounds of redundancies I went through
>> at the company where I worked the longest.

I contracted at Merrill Lynch when they had a major redundancy round. Leavers were targeted overnight, and the first thing they knew was when they tried to swipe in the next morning, access was blocked and they were escorted to a side entrance where they were handed a cardboard box with their personal belongings and told to leave the premises by a big fella.

Two years later the sub prime chaos killed the company.
 P and O - Fullchat
I did hear a rumour locally from fairly close to the horses mouth that members of the group of P&O employees who were the subject to the redundancies were also quite adept at maxing out their sickness entitlements in true British public service/government employee fashion.
As I say just a rumour.
 P and O - smokie
Yes ISTR that was the way it worked when I was there many years ago. Their working pattern wasn't so bad either - 1 week on, 1 week off, the week on was spent on the boat where I guess everything was paid for. Salaries not phenomenal and 12 hour shifts but I remember the few boat people I was friendly with were absolutely happy with it (many had a second job on the other week).
 P and O - zippy
>>Merrill Lynch...

I celebrated their demise. They caused me a lot of legal problems that I will never financially recover from.


American Express in Brighton operated the same procedures when redundancies were made. I think the way they do it now is more "humane" after a lot of bad press in Brighton.

I had an involvement (not employment but visiting with a view to working on a syndicated loan) with BNY and they were even worse. Experienced bank and credit professionals were working in a climate of fear.

The US managing director walked around UK office with 2 bodyguards, picked up a ringing phone and told a major customer to F off and not call again - without even hearing who it was calling. We refused to work with them for reputational risk issues and shortly after they had to close the UK office they had just purchased from a major UK bank at a significant loss because they just didn't get the culture of doing business in the UK.
 P and O - zippy
Just when you thought that P&O could sink no further...

They (try) to reduce the wages of the new staff from £5.50 per hour to £4.50 per hour.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10747957/P-O-Ferries-sparks-fresh-fury-trying-CUT-wages-new-low-paid-foreign-staff.html
 P and O - Zero
And they fail AGAIN

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61209894



 P and O - Bobby
P&O ferry European Causeway adrift off coast of Larne www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-61229753
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