DP World risks UK reputational damage with P&O sackings

On a tour of the United Arab Emirates last month to promote trade with Britain, Prince William was introduced around DP World’s port of Dubai by DP World – a facility opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1979.

Now Dubai’s ties in the UK are in crisis after its P&O ferry business moored all its ships Peter finally 800 British sailors.

While DP World says the reorganization of P&O was necessary to run the business, politicians are appalled The way the staff was released for a zoom call Without consultation will be replaced by a cheaper agency staff. There are fears that the company has imported Dubai’s approach to labor relations – trade unions with forbidden statements and workers’ rights are restricted.

“This is an absolute self-goal – it can not positively affect their reputation and create a huge amount of political attention,” a UK official said. “The business logic may be true, but it will have broader implications for DP World as an investor and employer.”

However, the government is faced with a dilemma of how to respond. The company, which last week reported a full-year ebitda record of $ 3.8 billion, was a huge investor in the UK industry, pouring £ 2bn into the country with another £ 1.5bn earmarked for the coming years.

The state-controlled group manages the UK’s second-largest shipping terminal in Southampton and London’s third, handling more than half of the country’s intercontinental container traffic, and has expressed interest in new UK free port contracts.

Southampton, UK’s second largest shipping terminal, owned by DP World © Eddie Keogh / Reuters

Its Southampton terminal is essential for bringing Asian exports to the UK, while the London Gateway is an important entry point for food imports and raw materials from Africa and Latin America.

And Boris Johnson recently visited Abu Dhabi as he seeks to repay Britain from Russian hydrocarbons, few in the shipping industry rely on the company’s serious reprimand for its poor treatment of British workers.

“The government will have nothing to gain by harming DP World, which is a huge infrastructure provider to the UK,” said John Meners-Bell, CEO of logistics consulting firm Transport Intelligence. Without full-scale intervention. “

Industry insiders say the company’s terminals in the UK are more efficient, reliable and have better customer service than Felixstowe, the country’s largest container port operated by Hutchison ports in Hong Kong.

“Through the container increases during the epidemic, they withstood this storm quite well. They have invested in additional facilities and storage,” said Richard Balentin, CEO of the British Ports Association, Trade Group. “They are a well-run company on this front.”

Dubai’s heritage can be attributed to a commercial center dating back to the early 20th century, when it lured Persian traders to the market by its riverbed by reducing taxes – effectively turning the emirates into a kind of free port now promoted by the British government’s “whips” on the agenda.

Since then, the combination of efficient port operations and tax-exempt logistics parks has solidified Dubai’s growth. Modest oil revenues have been reinvested in infrastructure, particularly in Jabal Ali, which now accounts for about a quarter of the Emirates’ gross domestic product.

Prince William visits Jabal Ali port with DP World chairman Sultan Ahmad bin Sulayam last month © Henry Nichols / Paul / Getty Images

Grant Liddell, Metro Logistics’s director of business development at the UK, said DP World is taking its Jebel Ali format around the world. “They built Jabal Ali in Dubai, took the model including the cranes and rolled it around the world,” he said.

In the 2000s, the company’s powerful leader, Sultan Ahmad bin Suleim, branched out into debt-based real estate and investments overseas through Dubai World.

But the government conglomerate was pushed back by the global financial crisis, becoming the biggest victim of Dubai’s debt disaster. Modest to the recession, the city-state demanded $ 25 billion in rescue loans backed by its richer neighbor Abu Dhabi to ward off harmful default.

While Ben Soliam was Moved on From Dubai World, he retained control of DP World, which he has aggressively expanded since.

The company has developed a strong presence across South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and now operates 190 divisions in 69 countries. Last year alone it acquired Imperial Logistics from South Africa for $ 2 billion and American storage company Syncreon for $ 1.2 billion.

Xavier Woodward, founder of InfraComms and former head of marketing at DP World London Gateway, recalled that when the group signed a £ 400m contract to build the terminal in 2008, it opposed expectations that it would retire from investing in UK infrastructure.

“They are not afraid to make tough and brave decisions,” he said. “If you talk about ambitious, there was a saying in society that the sky is not the limit.”

DP World risks UK reputational damage with P&O sackings Source link DP World risks UK reputational damage with P&O sackings

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