French seamen block 'cheap hiring' Irish ferry

23rd May 2005, Comments 0 comments

CHERBOURG, France, May 23 (AFP) - Angry seamen at the north-western French port of Cherbourg stopped passengers disembarking from an Irish ferry Monday to protest against the company's decision to take on cheap labour from eastern Europe and the Philippines.

CHERBOURG, France, May 23 (AFP) - Angry seamen at the north-western French port of Cherbourg stopped passengers disembarking from an Irish ferry Monday to protest against the company's decision to take on cheap labour from eastern Europe and the Philippines.  

The Normandy - which operates a service from the port of Rosslare for Irish Ferries - was forced to wait at idle in the harbour with an unknown number of people on board, after protesters blocked the walkway used to connect the ship to land.  

"At the start of the year Irish Ferries fired 187 Irish crew-members on the Normandy and replaced them with Poles, Lithuanians, Romanians and Filipinos. It is social dumping," said Michel Oury of the CFDT union.  

Irish seamen cost the company EUR 15 (USD 19) an hour, compared to EUR 4.5 for eastern Europeans and one euro for Filipinos, he said.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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