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Within just a couple of hours, a petition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson by Nautilus International and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has been signed by more than 11,000 people.

Click here to add your own signature in support.

Members of the public, politicians and media figures have all been demonstrating their strong support today for the 800 workers summarily laid off by P&O Ferries.

'This is a national scandal – it can’t ever be allowed to happen again. This must be turning point for workers’ rights in the UK,' the petition states. 'The government can stop this, but they will not act unless thousands of us speak up. If callous acts like this are allowed at P&O, they can happen anywhere.'

Signatories have expressed their anger at the company's actions, including the completely disrespectful way in which they were fired by Zoom call.

'This is just appalling and inhumane. How is this even possible in this day and age to treat employees and their families with so little regard? P&O Ferries have benefitted from a staggering amount of furlough payments through the pandemic which they should be made to repay,' wrote one signatory.

'If this is the new way for workers to be treated we need to all act now - it’s a disgrace,' added another.

'Shocking. Did they even notify the government through an HR1 form? The government needs to make an example out of this company,' said another.

Many more comments and expressions of support can be read on the petition.

Other people have been copying Nautilus International into their correspondence with P&O Ferries.

'I am absolutely incensed by the decision you made today to sack over 800 of your staff in favour of employing cheaper agency workers. How can you treat people like this!' wrote one angry customer.

'I fully support those staff who have been shown the door and the unions who support them. In addition to this I will not travel with you again until you reinstate the people you have dismissed so insensitively today. If you think this will be a cost saving measure to secure your survival then you are mistaken. The backlash from the public, damage to your reputation, and the inevitable legal costs you will have to sustain will likely ruin your company anyway.'

Well-attended protests have also taken place across the country today, with hundreds of people showing up to lend their aid. Nautilus International was in attendance at Dover, Hull and Liverpool, and there was further action in London at the headquarters of P&O Ferries' owner, DP World.


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