May 12, 2022

Ex-P&O workers block entrance to Larne Port

Former P&O workers blocked an entrance to Larne Port as part of an escalation in protest actions.

Protests have continued at the port since P&O’s decision in March to lay off nearly 800 workers without notice and replace them with cheaper agency staff.

At around 2pm on Friday, protesters took part in a blockade at an entrance to Larne Harbour. The action lasted about an hour and a half.

Similar measures have been taken at the port of Cairnryan in the south of Scotland.

This follows an incident on Tuesday in which the P&O vessel European Causeway lost power in the Irish Sea.

The ferry drifted five miles off Larne for over an hour.

Darren Procter of the RMT union said workers are stepping up protests for safety reasons.

He told the PA news agency: “With the events of this week and the European carriageway, this is something that we as a union have identified as a problem, and it was a problem this week, so we decided to have a blockade in Cairnryan and also in Larne.

“It’s something we’ll be looking to do more and more of because we don’t think these ships are safe, we’re not happy with what P&O has done to the workforce and the impact Just because individuals were fired and given money doesn’t mean the problem is solved.

A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland said around 40 people took part in the action.

“Police received a report of a small protest at around 2pm today, Friday April 29, in Larne Harbour,” they said.

“About 40 people were present.

“The protest has ended and no issues have been reported.”