Strike hits Seafrance Calais-Dover sailings.
SEAFRANCE ferry sailings between Calais and Dover were out of action for a second day running today as seafarers protested over new crewing arrangements that the company wants to introduce from the start of next week.
The three SeaFrance vessels currently in service were stopped progressively by crew action yesterday and SeaFrance said today that crews had given notice of a further 12-hour stoppage, which could be prolonged subsequently.
The strike concerns catering and sales personnel and, according to a union official, was a spontaneous reaction to the announcement of the details of the reorganisation of crewing arrangements and, in particular, the downgrading of certain employees.
Didier Cappelle, spokesman for the majority CFDT union confederation at the company, said that there had been particular anger over the fact that the downgradings had not taken account of the service records of certain members.
Talks took place with the company yesterday evening and, according to Mr Cappelle, some progress towards a resolution of the dispute was made.
Crews are due to meet this afternoon to discuss their position but Mr Cappelle said, ?I don"t know what this will lead to?.
The dispute is the latest in a long series of clashes over the company"s plans to end chronic loss-making over the last 18 months.
The company is looking to reduce its 1,580-strong workforce by 482 by the end of June but wants to introduce the new crewing arrangements from February 1.
Last month, unions reluctantly accepted a mediator-brokered version of the company"s recovery plan but have expressed concern recently over its interpretation of crewing and productivity agreements.