The TUC has today (Friday) has today called for the “scandalous” treatment of P&O workers to be a “turning point” for workers’ rights in the UK.
The union body says ministers must bring forward an employment bill now to stop workers from “being treated like disposable labour”.
The call comes after 800 P&O crew were sacked without notice on Thursday and threatened with handcuffs if they refused to leave their ships.
P&O Ferries’ actions appear to be unlawful. But the TUC says these events show that UK employment law urgently needs strengthening to penalise bad employers.
The union body says ministers must use an employment bill to:
In addition, the TUC is calling on the government to:
Reinstate sacked staff
All sacked staff must be reinstated immediately without loss of pay, the TUC is demanding – adding that P&O should face serious consequences.
The union body has warned the government that a “slap on the wrist” from ministers would not be good enough.
And the government must put in place measures to ensure that all future procurement comes with a commitment from companies receiving public money to respect workers’ rights.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect at work.
“But bad bosses can still get away with treating staff like disposable labour.
“What happened at P&O is a national scandal – it can’t ever be allowed to happen again.
“Enough is enough. This must be turning point for workers’ rights in the UK.
“The government must urgently bring forward an employment bill that strengthens workplace protections and that imposes strong penalties on employers who break the law.
“The prime minister vowed to make Britain the best country in the world to work. He has run out of excuses for failing to deliver on that promise.”
On the need for the government to penalise P&O, Frances added:
“P&O has acted appallingly. It must be made an example of.
“A slap on the wrist is not going to cut it.
“If the company refuses to reinstate all of its sacked staff it should face serious consequences.”
Notes to editors:
- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.
TUC press office
020 7467 1248
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