Sacked Scots P&O workers’ cabins looted after being thrown off vessels


Sacked Scottish P&O workers have had their personal cabins looted after being thrown off their vessels.

Angry staff hit out after items such as fridges and TVs were “plundered” from their rooms, with blame pointed at low-paid workers brought in to replace them.

The Record can reveal some Scots workers were refused access to their rooms as they were frogmarched off the European Causeway and European Highlander ships, which sail from Cairnryan to Larne in Northern Ireland.



Sacked Chef Gale Dowey

Many are awaiting the return of their personal property, including family photographs and permits and licenses that might enable them to gain new employment.

Sacked chef Gale Dowey, 46, said: “It is scandalous how we are being treated. We have our own cabins on board, as we lived half our lives on the ships.

“But when people were ordered off the boats, they were specifically refused from taking anything from their rooms.



Chef Gale Dowey
Chef Gale Dowey went to a demonstration at Cairnryan along with other sacked workers

“I know a fridge was taken from one room and TVs have gone missing.

“One person had two cartons of cigarettes taken, so it seems there are new workers going round the cabins and taking what they want.

“People should have been given access to their possessions whenever they want. Instead they have been told that stuff will be sent out to them.

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“Who would want some anonymous person going through their personal stuff?”



P&O bosses have been heavily criticized
P&O bosses have been heavily criticized

One Scots worker told the Record how his seaman’s work licenses were stuck in his room, which could hold up efforts to get a new job.

He said: “I have a lot of clothes in the room but if my paperwork goes missing, I will be in a bad spot, as I need these to be able to go to sea with another employer if I’m lucky enough to get another job.”

Staff have also told how they were thrown off their vessels in Northern Ireland and told they would have to find their own way back to Scotland.



P&O' Ferries' Peter Hebblethwaite
P&O’ Ferries’ Peter Hebblethwaite

One said: “One of the Stranraer boys was told he was getting the bullet on board the vessel and that he had to leave immediately.

“And then they had the front to say he had to make his own way home, meaning he had to get to Belfast from Larne and buy a
ticket from the rival Stena service.”

The latest revelations follow a demo at Cairnryan on Wednesday in which protestors demanded the reinstatement of sacked workers dumped in favor of cheaper casual labour.

Unions intend to target the Glasgow offices of Clyde Marine, the agency that recruited foreign workers to replace Scottish staff, on Monday.

Concerns have been raised that new crews may not have been adequately trained by the time P&O gets its boats back out to sea.

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P&O has been asked to comment.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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