Updated Saturday 19.3.22 @ 18:30
Antonio Cirale, is not a name you have probably heard of prior to the last few days. He is the man behind International Ferry Management Ltd [IFM Ltd] which will be responsible for the Eastern European crews for all P&O ferries, including the local boats currently moored up at Dover and elsewhere.
Cirale is named in the Paradise Papers [released Nov 2017] and the company being used to hire the new crews – International Ferry Management Ltd – is registered at 30 Kenilworth/1 Sir Augustus Bartolo Street, TA’ XBIEX. The address, not the company, is named in the Paradise Papers as well.
At present the boats, and their crews, still have no right to sail the ships unless they are cleared by the MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency), which as we understand of this morning, has not been granted yet.
As you may or may not know P & O was recognised as a public company, it was sold to Dubai-based DP World in March 2006 for £3.9 billion. DP World currently operate P&O Ferries, P&O Maritime and P&O Heritage.
In January 2019 P&O Ferries announced that its UK fleet would be reflagged from Dover, UK to Limassol, Cyprus in response to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union in 2019 “For operational and accounting reasons“. Cyprus is a member of the EU and a flag of convenience; the reflagging will allow P&O to continue to benefit from EU tax arrangements. According to the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, the reflagging is “pure opportunism”, saying that the firm’s “long-term aim has always been to switch the UK fleet to a tax haven register“.
The sacking of the 800 UK P & O staff on its ferries without any prior consultation, was entirely possible because of Brexit. Brexit is a “red herring”.
The straightforward statutory redundancy law is purely UK, it’s the redundancy consultation [law] that is EU-related. The EU collective redundancies directive was implemented in the UK by a primary act of parliament which is “gold-plated” (went beyond) the EU legislation. But that’s not the issue.
What has happened then is a result of insufficient legal protection. The only real remedy is a monetary one. What really should be done is to allow injunctions to stop employers dismissing without consultation.
If your looking for a culprit in this sorry debacle, then look no further than all those who voted for Brexit, one might think, but that would be not looking further than the end of your nose. There are other issues at play here and something really must be done to prevent this happening again, or it could be your job next.
The Shepway Vox Team
Being Voxatious is NOT a Crime.