April 8, 2022 | 2 minutes read | Tags: News & Analysis

P&O: Capitalism in Crisis

P&O Ferries have suspended services this weekend and told customers to book with another operator. This comes after outrage over recent weeks from the sudden redundancies made by P&O Ferries to over 800 employees.

P&O: Capitalism in Crisis

P&O Ferries have suspended services this weekend and told customers to book with another operator. This comes after outrage over recent weeks from the sudden redundancies made by P&O Ferries to over 800 employees. The particular brutality of this is clear when even some in the Tory government[i] commented on the harsh way that the employees were laid off over a video call, due to heavily decreased profits over the past few years.[ii] But, while we stand in solidarity with the former employees of P&O, this disgusting mass-sacking at the expense of working class people should not come as too much of a surprise when seen in the view of the current, deepening capitalist crisis, and may even herald in many other such events over the years to come.

As the capitalist crisis heightens, capitalists struggle to keep up a rate of profit by any means necessary. This will mean that the crisis (a) reduces wages below the value of labour power and (b) destroys less efficient capitals, and in this way attempts to restore the rate of profit for capital. The vile actions of the CEOs of P&O, when seen in this light, are a very clear example of the capitalist crisis - they are trying to revive a dying business in a dying economic system.

This act of violent class oppression is not isolated, however. We have already seen the expanding cost of living crisis means that wages are no longer able to keep up with the cost of living.[iii] So with all this in mind, it would be reasonable to assume that the atrocious disregard for the employees of P&O will soon be replicated elsewhere, wherever capitalists believe that capital could be invested more efficiently.

We have to be ready for this; we have no choice but to build resistance now, before the crisis deepens any more. The capitalist Tory and Labour parties have no way to tackle this ongoing crisis. By joining unions in our workplaces and communist parties organising on the ground, we must build an alternative to the capitalist system, which is more dangerous now than ever.


[i] (132) Grant Shapps criticises P&O for 'brutal treatment' of staff - YouTube

[ii] P&O Ferries sackings: Government to review contracts with ferry firm - BBC News

[iii] Cost of living: 'My pay isn't keeping up with rising prices' - BBC News