The brutal sacking of 800 workers by P&O, at the behest of billionaire owned parent company DP World, is a ‘line in the sand’ for workers in Britain, Unite said today.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham compared the actions of DP World to an ‘economic attack’ on British workers.

Sharon Graham said: “Despite record profits that fund billionaire lifestyles, Dubai-based DP World has launched a pre-meditated ‘economic attack’ on British workers, showing once again that our system is broken. 

“The political elite have been in the pocket of billionaires for decades, supporting their demands to weaken the rights of their own citizens in favour of corporate profiteering.

“This is the result: 800 ordinary workers from Britain sacked whilst working at sea, by a firm owned by the Dubai Royal Family.

“It’s time to bring the oligarchs and monopolies that run so much of our global economy to heel. 

“Tinkering around the edges has failed. Our politicians have failed. 

“It’s time for the people to stand up and do what our so-called leaders refuse to do. Take action.

“That is why today I have instructed £10 million to be allocated to a new campaign fund. 

“Unite will be equipping its members and activists with every inch of support they need to fight for jobs, pay and conditions.

“One thing I can guarantee is this. If any employer attacks my members in a similar way, then no action will be ruled out.”

DP World makes billions in revenue, records massive levels of profit and has mountains of cash in the bank (see notes). 

At the same time, they have paid out enormous dividends to their shareholder owners, the Dubai Royal Family, in recent years. They have paid out $376.1 million in dividends to shareholders in the last two years alone. 

Reports from the Times and other sources have also shown how the company has fleeced the British tax-payer whilst they sit on billions in the bank. DP World received over £30 million in emergency funding from the government during the pandemic, including using the tax-payer funded furlough scheme.


Notes to editors:

DP World Finances

Press release:

Annual report:

2021 Highlights

 - Adjusted EBITDA (we can say profit) growing 15.3% to $3.8bn: a "record". The EBITDA (profit) margin is a "healthy" 35.5%.

- Revenue increasing by $2.2bn to $10.8bn. That's growth of 26.3%.

- Overall profit after tax was $1.2bn, up 33% from $0.9bn the year before. 

- Cash from operating activities increased 27.3% to a "record" $3.7bn in 2021 ($2.9bn in 2020).

Healthy overall position

- They had $3.9bn cash in the bank at the end of 2021.

- They had total equity of £16.1bn, and retained earnings of $9.2bn

Owners profiting:

DP world has paid out $376.1 million in dividends to shareholders in the last 2 years. 

Including non-controlling interests, $567m has been paid out in dividends. 

Quotes from management:

"DP world has delivered a strong set of financial results in 2021 with significantly improved cash generation.”

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected]  

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.