The problems for P&O Ferries continued in early May when the Cypriot flagged Pride of Kent failed another MCA inspection.

The company, which unceremoniously sacked 800 employees in March, is attempting to get its services back up and running, but with mixed success.

Commenting on the issues with the Dover-based Pride of Kent, RMT union General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “For the third time in a month P&O’s Pride of Kent has failed a full safety inspection by the MCA.

“Passengers and hauliers need to know that P&O’s fleet is operated by over worked and under skilled agency crews, some expected to work for up to 17 weeks on the intensive Dover-Calais route.

“We are also hearing that P&O’s Maltese crewing agency, IFM is discriminating against Indian seafarers and has dumped four Honduran seafarers in Dover without any financial support, which is against the Maritime Labour Convention.

“P&O Ferries clearly pose a growing threat to maritime safety and the future of the UK ferry industry. The only way to restore safety and economic stability in the ferry industry is for the government to take over the running of P&O Ferries and to restore skilled seafarers to their jobs on union rates of pay.”

P&O Ferries operated four ferries on the Dover-Calais route, but only one has so far been cleared to resume passenger services since the company halted operations in March.



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