CALLS have been made for a "public and commercial" boycott of P&O Ferries after it laid off hundreds of employees last month. 

The Trade Unions Congress (TUC) has described the actions of P&O Ferries and its owner, DP World, which operate the Port of Southampton, as "appalling". 

The union called for the company to be given "pariah status". 

The comments were made following last month's sacking of nearly 800 seafarers with no notice.

The ferry giant then went on to replace them with cheaper agency workers. 


But now, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “P&O and DP World must not be allowed to get away with their scandalous and unlawful treatment of staff.

“Companies who behave like corporate gangsters deserve far more than a slap on the wrist.

“Ministers must sever all commercial ties with P&O and its owner DP World and ensure they do not receive a single penny of taxpayers’ money."

The TUC said DP World has “lucrative Government contracts” to run the Port of Southampton and London Gateway port in Thurrock, Essex.

Daily Echo: P&O Ferries at the Port of Dover.P&O Ferries at the Port of Dover.

But the company declined to comment when approached by the Daily Echo. 

It is understood that the the company will restart passenger services between Dover and Calais early next week.

P&O Ferries has not operated between the two ports since the mass sackings on March 17.

A spokesperson for P&O Ferries said: “We’re pleased to have welcomed tourist passengers and freight customers back on board some of our ships and we’re looking forward to having all of our services running again as soon as mandatory safety tests have been passed.

"As we have also already made clear, we will continue to comply fully with any national minimum wage obligations introduced by the UK Government.”

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