French ferry union boss ‘sorry’ but warns of further action

French ferry union boss ‘sorry’ but warns of further action

The head of the French ferry workers’ union whose members disrupted services at Calais this summer has warned of possible further action.

MyFerryLink staff occupied two ferries and blocked the Channel Tunnel in July and August in protests over job losses.

Eurotunnel-owned MyFerryLink staff began blockading the French port in June ahead of the ferry company ceasing operations on July 1, with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

The dispute between the French government and ferry workers was finally resolved last week with a deal to employ 402 French workers between Eurotunnel and DFDS Seaways.

Eric Vercoutre, of Syndicat Maritime Nord, told the BBC: “We’re truly sorry about what happened.”

However, he warned there could be more strike action next month.

“If, on the 1st October, we don’t get the redundancy payments that we’re legally entitled to and our September wages we’ll blockade the port again.”

Vercoutre added: “Our aim really wasn’t to make life difficult for the British. It’s always the people lower down who suffer – lorry drivers, employees – that’s not the aim.

“The aim is to make those higher up do something, ministers both in the UK and France. They only do something when we set tyres on fire, when we block miles of roads. They only react then – that’s just not right.”


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