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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 May 2020

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan - nationalisation not bailouts!

P&O, photo Charles01/CC

P&O, photo Charles01/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Eric Segal, Kent Socialist Party

P&O Ferries has announced plans to cut 734 jobs in Dover and 122 jobs in Hull after it reported a severe downturn in demand.

The cuts, affecting more than a quarter of the group's workforce, come after the firm's owner, the Dubai-based DP World, had been seeking about 150 million in UK government aid. It is also only two months since DP World said it would be paying its investors about 270 million in dividends.

DP World owns shipping company P&O, the ports of Southampton and London Gateway, plus dozens more around the world. 80% of DP World is owned by the United Arab Emirates, and the rest by international investors. Last year the company made profits of more than 1 billion on revenues of more than 6 billion.

P&O operates passenger ferries between Dover and Calais, as well as Hull to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge, plus services across the Irish Sea. This is in addition to transporting 15% of all goods in and out of the UK.

The government has already dished out over 10 million in wage payments for 1,400 furloughed P&O staff since the start of the pandemic.

The RMT transport and maritime union has written to shipping minister, Kelly Tolhurst, demanding actions from the government to support the union's fight to save jobs. The letter includes a call for the government to "pursue public ownership and control of P&O Ferries' operations as a priority". Contracts should be brought back in-house, jobs and pensions guaranteed, with no bailout for bosses!

However, we cannot have any confidence in this Tory government to defend jobs. Plus experience has shown that any nationalisation must be on the basis of democratic workers' control and management.

P&O workers need to draw on the valuable lessons of the bitter year-long strike in 1989 which linked seafarers internationally against the attacks on job losses, and recall the words of Bob Crow, the late general secretary of the RMT, "If you don't fight you will lose but if you fight you may win".

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 27 May 2020:


What we think

Reckless lying cheats


Schools

Schools aren't safe

United action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan


International news

Economic collapse leads to renewed protests across Lebanon

Chinese state's imposition of draconian law reignites Hong Kong protests


Coronavirus news

Care home workers suffer PPE shortage and job loss fears

More blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

Coronavirus pandemic news in brief


BAME Covid-19 deaths

Black and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality


Workplace news

Strong union response needed against job cuts

No return to unsafe construction sites

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation


Lessons from history

The 'Lucas Plan'

1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"


Obituary

Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20


Fighting fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis


Readers' opinion

Going viral - Socialist comments and letters


 

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Related links:

Ferries:

triangleP&O: defend every job - nationalise the ferries

triangleFerry workers protest against 2.45 an hour pay

triangle1987 Zeebrugge disaster

triangleRMT members to strike at CalMac ferries

triangleCondor Ferries: Fight for a living wage

Nationalisation:

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: The case for nationalisation

triangleNationalise Tata Steel to save jobs

triangleFight for our livelihoods... Fight for our lives!

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The socialist case for nationalisation

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triangleExams scrapped again - young people need a future with jobs and free education

triangleNottingham City Council: Major battles against cuts ahead

triangleNews in brief

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triangleFully resource the vaccination programme now

triangleAct together to oppose unsafe numbers and rising workload

Shipping:

triangleLiverpool seafarers demand better conditions

RMT:

triangleRMT gen sec election - vote for Steve Hedley

Dover:

triangleKent: Chaotic privatised asylum process

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