Friday 28th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

FTA calls for no-strike deals on ferries

Cross-Channel ferry operators should be obliged to employ staff on a ‘no-strike’ basis to avoid the sort of major problems caused to the transport industry and Kent residents as a consequence of the current strike of SeaFrance personnel, according to the Freight Transport Association.

The strike, which has halted SeaFrance sailings since last Thursday, has resulted in the implementation of Operation Stack, major costs and delays for freight operators and lorry drivers, and enormous inconvenience to motorists and residents in Kent as motorway traffic is dispersed onto local roads.

Director of external affairs, Geoff Dossetter said: “The fact that the removal of a single ferry operator can reduce cross-Channel capacity and cause the sort of problems we have seen this week demonstrates the sensitivity of the situation. Cross-Channel services are so important to international trade, and to the convenience of travellers, that their personnel should be employed on a no-strike contract basis.

“Every time Operation Stack is implemented, the cost to industry runs into hundreds of thousands of pounds. The overall costs since last Thursday amount to millions, and perhaps we should consider if there is any prospect of compensation in such circumstances.

“The current SeaFrance problem must be resolved as quickly as possible, but we must now consider legal measures to ensure that it does not happen again.”