More strikes could undermine Calais progress, says FTA

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Progress on reducing disruption to cross-Channel services and tackling the Calais migrant crisis could be undermined by a resumption of strikes, the Freight Transport Association has told immigration minister James Brokenshire.

The UK and French governments have created a joint command to tackle people trafficking as well as further increases in physical security and the UK will support for the French government to begin processing asylum claims at sites away from the Calais area.

James Hookham, FTA’s deputy chief executive, said it was pleased with progress and members had seen a reduction in disruption to services.

“But much of the progress could be undermined by any future direct action by strikers in Calais, creating the ideal conditions for migrants to attempt entry into trucks and stow away to Britain. Calais must become a strike-free zone, to fully protect drivers and their vehicles.”

He pointed out that the dispute by former MyFerryLink workers had not been fully resolved, and there was a risk that the issue could resurface in the coming weeks.

“The overall cost of such action is crippling to the truck operators and cargo owners and cannot be allowed to happen again.”

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