Large rally for P&O workers as TUC conference takes place in Hull

A rally is due to take place in Hull on Saturday as the TUC demands changes to employment law, following the shock dismissal of P&O workers last month.

The protest will take place at the Double Tree Hilton hotel in downtown Hull at 2 p.m. It will form part of the annual Trades Union Congress (TUC) regional conference for Yorkshire and the Humber, which is held in the town.

The TUC is calling on the government to announce a Jobs Bill to strengthen workers’ rights and “prevent another P&O-type scandal”). This is the first time the TUC conference has been held in Hull.

Read more: Newly hired P&O Ferries agency staff sacked for drinking on duty

It comes just weeks after P&O laid off 800 workers without notice or consultation. The sudden announcement was made on March 17 and affected around 80 Hull workers. The staff was replaced by less paid temporary workers.

Since then many ferries have failed safety inspections, although the Pride of Hull has been cleared to operate. But the company has already had to dismiss temporary workers for drinking while on duty.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady will address the rally with a speech, alongside Hull East MP Karl Turner and representatives of dismissed workers from the RMT and Nautilus unions.

Pride of Hull arriving on the River Humber

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “P&O is a wake-up call for workers’ rights in this country. The only way to prevent another P&O-type scandal is to change the law. But ministers quietly shelved the Jobs Bill, which was supposed to make Britain the best country in the world in which to work.

“Enough is enough. Workers need strong laws that protect their rights. Ministers are expected to announce a Jobs Bill to close gaping gaps in worker protections when the Queen’s Speech comes in May.

The conference will vote on key issues affecting the region, such as public control of buses, the privatization of Channel 4, energy and free ports.

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