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Carnival UK Faces Accusations of ‘Fire and Rehire’ Plan

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Cruise giant Carnival UK accused of plan to fire and rehire 900 crew

Carnival UK has been accused of disrespecting their staff with sources claiming they are set to fire more than 900 members of staff if they refuse to sign new contracts for lower pay.


The travel industry is in shock with rumours that a leading cruise ship company is set to fire more than 900 staff member if they refuse to accept new terms and conditions.

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Carnival UK, which owns P&O Cruises and Cunard, is currently under fire for allegedly planning to terminate the contracts of over 900 staff members unless they accept new terms and conditions for their jobs.

The company’s notification of this controversial “fire and rehire” plan to authorities came just one day after commencing talks with union representatives.

The Nautilus union, which represents the interests of the workers potentially affected by the proposed changes, stated that this move by Carnival UK demonstrates the company’s lack of genuine intent to engage in meaningful negotiations.

According to the union, Carnival wants to enforce a cut in 20% of their members working days”, which would result in a drop from 243 days worked per year, to 200 days, which would result in a huge loss of income.

The union who said they are shocked how their members are being treated has said the changes would affect crew on P&O Cruises as well as those working on ships such at the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary 2.

In a statement, Nautilus referred to Form HR1, a document outlining a company’s redundancy plans that is submitted to the UK government.

“Negotiations with the union opened on November 14 but the union was only notified of the HR1 on the evening of November 22,” it said, adding that Carnival has written: “Dismissal and re-engagement may be considered if agreement cannot be reached on new terms.”

This is not the first time a company has faced such accusations. P&O Ferries, a separate entity, found itself embroiled in a dispute last year when its owner, DP World, terminated the contracts of 800 workers without notice, subsequently replacing them with foreign agency workers who were paid less than the UK minimum wage.

Shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said history was “repeating itself”.

“The lives of hundreds more seafarers are once again being upended by bad bosses who know they can get away with it”, she said. adding ministers have ignored “warning after warning” that this would happen again without changes in employment law.

Carnival have now backtracked after denying the claim they were going to force crew members to sign new contracts.

Nautilus International has welcomed a commitment from Carnival UK to withdraw the threat of fire and rehire for 919 maritime professionals.

Commenting on the latest developments, Nautilus executive officer Martyn Gray said: ‘This is a welcome move from Carnival UK and a positive indication of their commitment to engage in a meaningful consultation with us over changes to members’ terms and conditions. We thank them for their commitment to not dismiss and re-engage and look forward to working with them to come to a negotiated settlement in the interests of all parties.

‘However, fire and rehire – or dismissal and re-engagement – should never be an option for any employer to force changes to terms and conditions and the UK government should commit to outlawing this. A statutory code of practice is not enough.’

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