Britain’s P&O Ferries has fired 800 people in order to cut its losses. The company also suspended sailings for the next few days.
P&O released a statement saying that the move was necessary to ensure its future, as it took a hit financially as a result of Brexit and Covid-19.
“In its current state, P&O Ferries is not a viable business. Our survival is dependent on making swift and significant changes now. Without these changes there is no future for P&O Ferries.”
Earlier Thursday, P&O called all of its ferries back to port ahead of the formal announcement, which could cause severe disruptions for passengers and freight traveling between the U.K., Ireland and continental Europe.
Crew members were then notified via video that it would be their last day working.
RMT union, which represents the crew members, told them to stay onboard the ferries, as they were being replaced by foreign labor.
On the Pride of Hull, workers refused to leave the ship while their replacements were waiting to board. After more than five hours, they left the ship.
P&O’s decision has been called “disgraceful,” since there was no advance notice for workers.