The news of the sacking of 800 P&O staff and the cancellation of all Larne-Cairnryan ferries has come as a complete shock.
Ferry staff have been dealt with brutally, with immediate terminations.
This does not bode well for the immediate future of the Northern Ireland economy.
Ferries have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, leaving passengers and time sensitive freight scrambling to book on the rival Stena Belfast-Cairnryan route.
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I have never heard of a company treating its staff and customers so poorly.
Given the importance of our North Channel ferry routes I would call on the secretary of state and the UK Transport Secretary to step in to ensure that the vital Larne Cairnryan ferry service continues and that staff are fairly treated.
Her Majesty’s Government at the highest level needs to engage with P&O Ferries and their parent company DP World to ensure the vital link between Great Britain and NI continues.
There is also an urgent need to clarify the status of staff at both the Port of Larne and those at the Port of Cairnryan. Both ports are ultimately owned by DP World which is based in Dubai.
Roy Beggs, Ulster Unionist MLA, East Antrim
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