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01 Sep 2015

BY Edward Robertson

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DFDS announces end of staff dispute

DFDS has announced an end to the long-running ferry workers’ dispute that has seen both Calais and the Eurotunnel temporarily blockaded by striking staff.

DFDS.jpg

In the latest bout of protests over the weekend, French workers, whose jobs were threatened, blockaded two ferries, disrupting around 6,000 travellers, including 2,000 Britons.

 

The protestors wanted to recover coffee machines, TV sets and sport equipment belonging to their co-operative, The Times reported.

 

The agreement, between DFDS staff representatives and those of SCOP-SeaFrance and Eurotunnel was reached yesterday with the assistance of the French transport minister.

 

Eurotunnel had agreed to sell its Calais-Dover ferry business MyferryLink to DFDS in June but workers’ co-ooperative SCOP SeaFrance took unsuccessful court action to try to extend its contract with Eurotunnel and stop it being dissolved in the sale.

 

The ferry workers had originally tried to buy the operation from Eurotunnel.

 

Among the terms of the agreement, DFDS is committing to the employment of 202 former SCOP-Sea France employees in its French organisation.

 

Ferries Berlioz and Rodin are now due to be deployed between Dover and Calais during the fourth quarter of 2015 with Calais Seaways, increasing DFDS’s vessels on the route from two to three.

 

Malo Seaways, which currently sails alongside Calais Seaways, will be relocated elsewhere on DFDS’ network.

 

DFDS Seaways senior vice president Carsten Jensen said: “This ends a long period of uncertainty for both our employees and our customers on the Channel…

 

“It also means that we have an equal number of French and UK flagged ships on the Channel, making the service a truly Anglo-French partnership, which we believe is in everyone’s best interests.”

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