P&O Ferries Consults Dover Port Workforce Over New Rostering Proposals

Tuesday, 15 January 2008
P&O Ferries today commenced consultations with representatives of its workforce over proposals for new staffing and rostering arrangements in its operations department at Dover Eastern Docks.

The proposals would have the effect of increasing flexibility of manning arrangements in order to more accurately match staffing to the varying levels of passenger and vehicle throughput. Pay harmonisation will also form part of the consultations.

If implemented, the proposals for a new demand-led rostering system in the docks would lead to the loss of 43 full time jobs out of a current total of 170.

Sue Mackenzie, the company's Short Sea and Western Channel general manager, said: "These proposals reflect the changing nature of our business, in particular the future growth in freight volumes around periods of peak demand.

"Customers will benefit from shorter check in times and less waiting in the port if we can roster more staff in peak periods.

"We very much regret the proposed loss of jobs and we are briefing our staff and consulting with their representatives very carefully because we need their support."

P&O Ferries hopes to attract volunteers to apply for redundancy and has generous voluntary redundancy terms. It is aiming to introduce its new rostering arrangements during April 2008.

In the meantime, as the consultation period gets underway, the company stresses that there are no foregone conclusions.

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