P&O protests: Thousands expected to take part in protests across UK over P&O sackings

A series of demonstrations will be held across the country in the coming days over the cost-of-living crisis and continued anger about the sacking of 800 P&O workers.

By Alan Jones
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 2:23 pm

The People’s Assembly said it expects thousands of protesters will take to the streets on Saturday at locations throughout the UK to highlight those suffering “real hardships” due to the combination of rising fuel and food prices, inflation, and low pay.

Unions have complained that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spring statement last week did nothing to allay fears about soaring fuel bills and rising inflation.

Lifting the energy price cap on Friday will create an “impossible choice for many” – to eat or heat, said the campaign group.

Protesters gather outside the P&O ferries terminal at the Port of Hull, East Yorkshire, after P&O Ferries suspended sailings and handed 800 seafarers immediate severance notices. Picture date: Friday March 18, 2022.

A spokesperson for the People’s Assembly said: “Public outrage over the cost of living crisis is growing fast, and our response is gaining momentum.”

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In London on Saturday, there will be a protest outside Downing Street, with similar events in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Doncaster, Glasgow, Hanley, Hull, Ipswich, Lancaster, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Preston, Redcar, Sheffield, and Southampton.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who will be speaking at the London demonstration, said: “With rising fuel, food and energy bills, the soaring cost of living is pushing millions into poverty, and the disgusting treatment of the sacked P&O workers needs urgent action from the Government.

“Demonstrations will be taking place all over the country, with thousands of people coming together to demand redistribution of wealth and power and decent wages for all, as well as justice for P&O workers.”

Laura Pidcock, national secretary of the People’s Assembly, who will be speaking at the Liverpool protest, said: “What people are experiencing is intolerable.

“No matter how patiently we explain that Government inaction over soaring energy and fuel costs and sharply rising food prices is deepening poverty, misery and hunger, it is met with at best indifference and at worst more of the same.

“We tell them about children going hungry and the Government shrug, politically speaking. Our anger and frustration with them must be directed and organised to build pressure on them.”

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union will hold a demonstration at the Portsmouth Continental Ferry Port on Friday over the P&O sackings.