[2022] Motion 21 The need to strengthen employment rights following the P&O scandal

Composited motion

Received from:

Congress is shocked and appalled at P&O Ferries firing 800 seafarers without any notice by Zoom call and replacing them with below-minimum wage agency crew.

Congress notes P&O Ferries was in breach of multiple laws by their actions and expresses disgust at the comments of P&O chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite who told the MPs that the company chose to break the law and would do it again.

Congress believes the actions of P&O Ferries brutally confirms a further shift in power in the workplace away from workers to employers. If a trade union inadvertently breaches anti-trade union legislation, employers rapidly achieve injunctions, yet no action could be taken to compel P&O Ferries to reverse the sackings, despite the prime minister promising this would happen.

Congress is appalled that, instead of strengthening employments rights after the P&O scandal, the government has further weakened them by announcing proposals to allow agency workers to break strikes and massively increase the amounts unions can be fined for breaches of industrial action legislation. The government is also threatening to abolish rail workers’ rights to strike.

Congress therefore calls for the strengthening of the rights of workers and unions including at freeports to be central to TUC campaigning as we approach the general election including:

i. repeal of the anti-union laws

ii. introducing sectoral bargaining

iii. support for Andy McDonald’s employment rights green paper

iv. giving unions strong powers to bring injunctions to prevent employers breaking employment law

v. ending the scourge of outsourcing and casualisation.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers


› Insert new paragraph 5:

“Congress denounces the increasingly extremist rhetoric that has emerged during the Tory leadership election, which is designed as a further attack on the rights of working people to take industrial action.”

› At the end of the motion add the following new paragraph:

“Congress calls on the General Council to defend the fundamental trade union right to strike from
renewed Tory attacks.”



› Insert new paragraph 5:

“Congress applauds the immediate solidarity given by workers and unions in response to this appalling attack on our sisters and brothers.”

Fire Brigades Union