P&O chief government Peter Hebblethwaite has denied the company broke felony law when sacking 800 staff and advised remaining staff they need to not concern the identical destiny as their former colleagues.
In a message despatched to all remaining staff this morning seen by Sky News, Mr Hebblethwaite sought to reassure staff their jobs will not be in danger.
Almost 800 seafarers have been sacked with out discover final week in a transfer that outraged staff, unions, politicians and prospects of the 150 year-old transport model.
On Thursday Mr Hebblethwaite admitted P&O broke employment law by failing to seek the advice of with unions and staff throughout proof to a Parliamentary choose committee.
In his message to staff nonetheless he insisted it was a “unique” state of affairs and no felony law was breached.
In his message, headed “From Peter – an update on this week”, Mr Hebblethwaite wrote:
“I just want to reassure you on a few points, particularly following my appearance at yesterday’s Select Committee with MPs and the media coverage this week.
“Most importantly I’m extremely sorry for any nervousness that I’ve brought about you or your loved ones in the final week – this was by no means my intention and I’m painfully conscious it feels deeply uncomfortable.
“There are a couple of issues I also want to make sure you’re very clear on. The first is this type of dismissal could not and would not happen again. This was a unique situation.
“The second level is not any felony offence has been dedicated – neither me, P&O Ferries or our Shareholder, DP World would permit it.
“There has been a failure to comply with the obligation to consult. We have compensated all Jersey contracted seafarers for the lack of advance notice with enhanced severance packages which are believed to be the largest total compensation package in the British Marine sector – a total settlement of £36,541,648. Critically, no employee will receive less than £15,000 irrespective of their length of service.”
Mr Hebblethwaite goes on to reward the “strength, loyalty and commitment” of staff and declare he had no selection however to sack their colleagues at a stroke.