'It was horrible': P&O replacement quits on first day after discovering 800 staff sacked

18 March 2022, 23:40

Mark Canet-Baldwin agency ferry worker

By Megan Hinton

An agency worker, employed to replace the P&O crew, has told LBC why he decided walk away from the "well paid job" after he discovered 800 staff had been sacked.

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Mark Canet-Baldwin travelled from Australia to Glasgow this week on the promise of starting a new job in British waters, but when he found out he was set to replace P&O staff, he quit before his first day had begun.

The agency worker said he spotted to job advertised on an "reputable" website but since being offered the role as an on-board service manager, had been given little detail about the company he was set to work for.

He told LBC's Andrew Pierce: "On Friday last week I was on an agency site, on Facebook and I saw a job advertised.

"I applied for it and got the on board services manager position temporary, they said temporary for a new ship coming to work in English waters.

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"And I said yep great no worries can I have the name of the ship or any of the information that you have got and they said look sorry mark we haven’t got any, we just know it is coming into service and we would like you to be on it.

"So I said well that’s fine it is a bit odd but to be quite honest it was no big deal, you know it was a reputable good agency I was dealing with and I've dealt with them before and they are quite fine.

"So I was asked to go to Glasgow last Monday and that I'd be in stand by in Glasgow for when the ship came in and then we would do a hand over with the crew on board."

When Mark arrived in Glasgow he was introduced to around 16 other British workers also lined up to start new roles on the ship.

After several days of being kept in the dark about their new jobs, the crew set up a Whatsapp group called "mystery ship" and on Wednesday evening the crew were told to wear full PPE for their first day on board on Thursday, something Mark described as "unusual".

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Detailing the journey to port, Mark said: "About an hour into the journey we pull up outside of Morrisons and we thought beautiful a comfort stop, rest stop get some breakfast whatever.

"Well we are in the car park as the bus is pulling up, it’s a fairly big bus, and we look across and here’s like 10 guys all in black, you know looking like something out of a war movie."

He soon discovered these were security crews, drafted in to escort the former P&O staff off of the ship.

After realising what the company had done whilst waiting to board the sip he said: "We were sat their like hungry crocodiles looking at lambs, or vultures looking at dying animals. It was horrible.

"I thought I have got to look at me in the mirror tomorrow and how am I going to justify to me and to my kids and then that was it [I made my decision to quit]."

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