Ferries dispute

Blockade planned at Scottish port over P&O sackings

Protests have taken place around the UK

Trade between Scotland and Northern Ireland faces disruption after a union leader said a blockade is planned at the Cairnryan port as part of their protest over the sacking of hundreds of staff by P&O Ferries.

Gordon Martin, the Scottish organiser of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said the demonstration at the port would take place on 8 April.

He announced the plan at the spring conference of the Alba Party in Glasgow, saying that on Monday the union would also hold a protest at the offices of Clyde Marine Recruitment – accusing them of recruiting staff to replace the sacked workers.

A number of demonstrations have taken place at ports around the UK to force the company to re-employ the sacked workers and to dismiss the chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite who last week admitted the company had broken the law when it dismissed the workers without notice.

Mr Martin told the conference: “We’re going after the supply chain, we’re going after P&O and we’ll go after everybody.

“Because this will be a fight to the finish. If we lose, all you guys lose as well.

The union’s action was announced as one ferry serving the route across the Irish Sea was impounded at Larne in Northern Ireland as the authorities said it was unfit to sail.

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