The scandal in the UK may be a harbinger of chaos and bankruptcies in the cruise market – this is how experts commented on the current the situation that flared up on Thursday around the ferry operator P&O Ferries, which is part of the large cruise holding P&O Cruises. The operator specialized in transport between the UK and the Continent – but “something went wrong”.
“The sailing of the ferries was suspended for at least 10 days, over 800 employees were suddenly dismissed, and the order was issued with immediate effect,” the British media “pictures”. The company justified the mass layoffs by saying that with today's number of staff and flights it is losing 100 million pounds a year.
“In its current state, P&O Ferries is not a viable business,” the operator's representative added. To those fired, he promised “expanded compensation packages,” including for “lack of notices of dismissal.” The unions are threatening to take legal action – but there is no guarantee that this will solve anything.
As experts add, P&O is replacing laid-off staff with cheaper workers. At the same time, the ferry ports later fell into chaos, as passengers, workers and truck drivers had nowhere to go.
Note that P&O Ferries is a ferry company, but it is part of the P&O Cruises cruise holding – which, in turn, is an integral part of the largest cruise holding in the world – Carnival Corporation & plc. The company owns two cruise brands, P&O Cruises, with a focus on the British market, and Princess Cruises, an international American-based company. Experts are considering how the situation with the ferry operator may affect the rest of the company.
By the way, P&O Ferries has already been known for massive layoffs – for example, in 2004, when it closed routes from Portsmouth due to the expansion of low-cost carriers and the opening Eurotunnel, which created an alternative to ferry transportation.
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