Wednesday, September 26, 2012

RoRo Freight and Passenger Services Suspended as Strike Halts Sailings

Brittany Ferries Talks Continue but No Sailings until Further Notice
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE - UK - SPAIN - The situation regarding freight and passenger services on Brittany Ferries services remains unchanged with management and unions in deadlock after the wildcat strike last week deteriorated into a suspension of most of the company’s RoRo services. The two sides are meeting again in Roscoff today at the firm’s headquarters and a statement from Brittany Ferries says that it is ‘cautiously optimistic that a binding resolution will be reached’.

Brittany Ferries have found trading tough for several years in common with many cross channel services at a time which witnessed the demise of another former French RoRo ferry stalwart, Sea France. The company has been using phone, email and SMS message services to alert freight customers to the situation and the website is being updated as negotiations progress.

This dispute began with industrial action from the crew of passenger and freight ferry MV Armorique, concerning pay and conditions which then spread across the company. The strike is believed to concern the worries the unions harbour toward the company’s future intentions regarding service schedules and consequent manning levels.

This morning Brittany said there is no further space available from Cherbourg to Poole and limited space from Poole to Cherbourg from tomorrow until Sunday when the service ends on the sole surviving sailing, the Poole-Cherbourg passenger service, which is operated on Brittany Ferries' behalf by Condor Ferries and, regardless of the outcome of talks, there will definitely be no other sailings before Friday (28th September).

Photo: The Armorique in happier times.