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I can now not go into reverse and I can now not surrender, says P&O Ferries boss Peter Hebblethwaite

The boss of P&O Ferries has stated he’ll now not opposite the corporate’s choice to fireside 800 team and won’t surrender.

Peter Hebblethwaite, the corporate’s leader government, has stated the plea by means of Grant Shapps, the delivery secretary, to supply the team their jobs again on their former phrases “ignores the location’s elementary and factual realities”.

In a letter to Shapps, Hebblethwaite stated re-employing the employees would “intentionally motive the corporate’s cave in, ensuing within the irretrievable lack of an extra 2,200 jobs”, including: “I will not believe that you’d need to compel an employer to result in its personal downfall, affecting now not loads however 1000’s of households.”

The ferry operator sacked its whole British team on March 17 with the purpose of changing them with less expensive company staff who will probably be paid £5.50 an hour on reasonable.

Shapps wrote to Hebblethwaite on Monday providing him “one additional alternative” to rehire the sacked staff and stated he intends to “block the result that P&O Ferries has pursued”.

He has pledged to convey a “complete package deal of measures” to parliament to make sure team on ferries running out of British ports are paid the minimal salary. The United Kingdom minimal hourly salary raises from £8.91 to £9.50 on April 1.

Shapps stated: “For the reason that we intend to make sure such results are avoided by means of rules — which we will be able to be sure that you can’t merely make a choice to forget about — I imagine you’ll be left with little selection however to opposite your choice after all.”

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Hebblethwaite additionally rejected Shapps’s request that Thursday’s closing date for redundant team to just accept severance gives is behind schedule.

Greater than 500 team are stated to have signed settlements, together with 67 officials who’ve both authorised the be offering to paintings with the brand new team supplier or are in means of doing so.

He wrote: “Those are legally binding agreements, and team individuals who’ve entered them will rightly be expecting us to conform to their phrases.”

Each the top minister and Shapps have referred to as on Hebblethwaite to surrender, a transfer he has additionally rejected.

Within the letter, he wrote: “I’m forced to discharge my tasks for this historic corporate, saving the roles of the two,200 devoted workers who proceed operating for P&O Ferries and offering for the efficient operation of the business routes upon which this nation relies.

“I can due to this fact proceed to do my utmost to be sure that this corporate has a sustainable trade for the long run.”

Hebblethwaite stated P&O Ferries welcomed the federal government’s “dedication to expanding the minimal salary for all seafarers operating in British waters”.