SHIPS OFFICERS in the giant P&O company, working in ports around Britain including the busy ferry terminal at Dover, are to ballot for action over pay. The move came after they rejected the company's 1.2 to 1.4 percent pay offer. The officers, members of the NUMAST union, who are responsible for the safe running of ships, backed a formal ballot in a consultation exercise organised by the union.
The company's pay offer is below the rate of inflation and represents a pay cut, despite P&O making good profits. Workers in P&O and other ferry companies have seen over a decade of job cuts and worsening conditions since the defeat of the 1988 P&O seafarers' strike. The move to ballot on action could be a sign that seafarers are starting to kick back.