Brittany Ferries in talks with unions to resolve strike
Maritime transport company Brittany Ferries was in talks Tuesday with unions to end a series of wildcat strikes by French employees that has halted services between Britain, France, Ireland and Spain.
The company suspended services on Friday after strikes erupted two weeks ago as employees fought to disrupt the company’s plans to cut costs by reducing salaries and the number of crossings.
About 8,000 passengers have been affected, according to the company.
“The meeting started badly in the morning but it has since resumed and they are now trying to redo everything and negotiate,” said Cyril Toulan from the CFDT union.
“For the moment, the personnel have gained the upper hand and there is no question of giving in in any way whatsoever,” he said.
Among the ferries cancelled are routes from Plymouth and Portsmouth in Britain to Roscoff, Caen, Cherbourg and Saint-Malo in France and to Bilbao in Spain. Routes were also cancelled between the Irish city of Cork and Roscoff.
The company carries 2.6 million passengers per year, 85 percent of them British. The company said the losses due to the shutdown of services would run into millions of euros.