Monday, April 5, 2010

Cross Channel Ferry Strike Set To End

French Action Targeted Holiday Trade
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – UK – The strike by staff of Sea France, the cross channel RoRo ferry company is due to end “very shortly” according to union officials. After freight traffic was disrupted sufficiently on Friday to cause “Operation Stack” to be initiated by Police, queuing articulated lorries along the M20 whilst awaiting shipment, further delays to accompanied trailers has been negligible due to the reduction of such traffic during the holiday period.

Private motorists however have not been so fortunate. Around 50,000 reservations for holidaying car passengers were thrown into disarray costing the company an estimated one and a quarter million Euros. Sea France run up to 20 crossings per day and the strike, initially scheduled to last two days, was extended to encompass the entire Easter break after consultations by CFDT union officials.

The staff withdrew their labour after negotiations with management collapsed on Friday. The sticking point is believed to be principally over staffing levels on board the ferries and the cessation of a bonus scheme which saw some crew members reportedly receiving up to €100 per day. Sea France have been pursuing a cost cutting regime in the light of reduced profits and fierce competition in the sector. Last October falling traffic levels saw the company proposing redundancies which again led to a strike.

Driver s wishing to update should ring Sea France direct on +33 3 21 17 70 33.