After sacking 800 employees, P&O bosses gathered £15m

After the dismissal of hundreds of UK-based workers last year, the Dubai company behind P&O Ferries has shared more than £15million with its bosses.

According to DP World’s annual report, directors and key managers were paid $18.9 Million (£15.5 Million) in 2018, an increase of $17.8million from 2021.

Unions were harshly critical of the payments that were revealed one year after restructuring resulted in the dismissal 800 seafarers. Paul Nowak, general secretary to the TUC, called the “eye-watering payments” an “insult to common decency.”

DP World’s revenue grew to $17.1 billion and its adjusted profit rose to $5 billion.

DP World, a port and cargo company that is ultimately owned by Dubai government, operates in over 70 countries. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem is the chief executive of DP World. He is a well-known Dubai businessman. Robert Woods, who was a former chairman at P&O, Sir Tim Clark (an aviation industry veteran) and Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori (a former UAE economic minister), are the non-executives.

It is not clear whether Peter Hebblethwaite (chief executive at P&O Ferries) was among those who were paid the management sharing the salary. DP World was contacted for comment.

According to records of the registrar, the filing of annual accounts at Companies House for P&O Ferries in the year ending 2021 is almost three months late.

Peter Hebblethwaite was the chief executive at P&O Ferries. He stated that there was no doubt that he had to consult with unions during a parliamentary hearing in 2013. We didn’t do that.”

Failure to provide accounts on time can lead to a conviction and the firm could be removed from the register or dissolved.

P&O Ferries spokesmen said that they are currently finalizing their 2021 stat accounts with their auditors. They expect to file them within the next few weeks.

Nowak stated that DP World should have been stripped of all its lucrative public contracts and cut all commercial ties to the company by ministers.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT, stated that the situation was “frankly absurd”.

P&O created outrage last year when it fired hundreds of cross-Channel ferry workers without warning. Many staff found out via video and were replaced with workers with more flexible contracts to lower their wage bills.

Ministers and unions condemned the company, but the Insolvency Service was asked by the government to investigate, and decided that criminal proceedings would not be opened after concluding there was “no realistic prospect” of a conviction.

Hebblethwaite stated at a March parliamentary hearing that there was “absolutely no doubt” that he and his colleagues were required to consult the unions. We decided not to do so. . . He stated that the company was unable to continue its operations without these actions.

P&O sails the Channel, North Sea, and Irish Seas and claims it transports more than 10,000,000 passengers, 1.6million cars, and 2.2million freight units per year. Although the government attempted to curb so-called fire and rechire practices, its plans were criticized as insufficient. Labour presented its own proposals last Wednesday.