DP World, the giant Dubai-based logistics company, is facing significant criticism for its decision to axe hundreds of workers in the UK. The company announced that it will lay-off and compensate 800 workers of the P&O Ferries, one of the leading players in the company.
P&O Ferries fires 800 workers
Protests have been planned in the UK after P&O Ferries revealed that it will axe hundreds of workers without following due process. The firings come a few years after the company fired about 1,000 workers. As a result, the ferry services were suspended, leaving thousands of people stranded.
DP World attributed the situation to the ongoing financial performance of P&O, which has continued making losses in the past few years. As a result, the management said that the trend was not sustainable and that urgent change was needed. DP bought P&O in 2019 for about 322 million pounds.
However, analysts believe that the decision is based on personal issues. For one, DP World is owned by Dubai, which is ruled by Sheikh Mohammed. While the Sheikh was once close to the queen, the relationship has deteriorated recently due to an ongoing court case in the UK. A court ordered the sheikh to pay 520 million pounds to his ex-wife.
What next for P&O Ferries
In a statement in P&O Ferries website, the company said: “P&O Ferries have today announced a programme of work to become a more competitive and efficient operator, providing a better service to our customers across the tourism and freight industries. While we enact these changes, there will be significant disruption across P&O Ferries services over the next few days.”
It is still unclear what will happen going forward. Some MPs of both parties said that the government should hold the company accountable for the unlawful termination. In the UK, companies are required to provide adequate notice before firing people. Still, the impact to the UK economy will likely be severe considering that P&F is seen as a vital company that handles vast amount of goods between the UK and France.