British authorities have seized a vessel belonging to the disputed ferry company P&O Ferries in Northern Ireland. The ferry would not be able to safely disembark, as the crew is insufficiently trained for work on the ship. Mandatory documents are also missing, the United Kingdom Coast Guard reported on Saturday.
The European Causeway, as the ship is called, will remain in the port of the coastal town of Larne until the problems are resolved. The British Minister of Transport, Grant Shapps, has all P&O Ferries ships inspected to ensure the safety of the ferry service.
P & O Ferries, which also operates between Rotterdam and Hull, caused a lot of outrage earlier this month with an unexpected mass layoff. The company suddenly stopped all ferries on the Quay and informed staff that eight hundred people would be fired with immediate effect.
They were replaced by cheaper, externally hired labor. According to the company, which suffered a loss of 100 million pounds (converted to about 120 million euros) last year, this was necessary to maintain the jobs of 2,200 others.
P&O Ferries chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite later admitted to breaching rules at the cleanup by failing to inform unions of the dismissal. However, according to him, talks with the unions would only have been a sham.
Meanwhile, discontent also seems to exist among the new crew members of the ferries. The international maritime trade union Nautilus recently reported that many of these hired workers have already quit.