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French strikers shut down Calais ferry port yet again

Operation StackStriking workers have forced port authorities in Calais to cancel ferry services to and from Dover. French ferry workers employed on Calais-Dover cross-channel services walked out again yesterday afternoon in the latest skirmish over job security and possible redundancies. 

Ferry operator DFDS released a statement earlier today saying that it would not be sailing out of Calais today, but planned to lay on extra ferries for the Dunkirk- Dover route. A P&O statement said that its Calais ferries would not be running today and that passengers should reschedule their journeys for later dates.

Ferry workers have so far not expanded their picketing to the Channel Tunnel and services are operating as normal. A Eurotunnel spokesperson told reporters that management had already set up contingency plans in case strikers targeted the tunnel as they had done during the last ferry strike on 23 June.

A representative for Highways England said Operation Stack has already been instigated. Stack utilises a sector of the M20 motorway as a temporary lorry park when ferries are delayed or cancelled for any reason.

In May, Eurotunnel stated that to avoid a conflict of interest it was scrapping its tie-up with MyFerryLink. Earlier this month, Eurotunnel stated it would be leasing two MyFerryLink vessels to rivals DFDS.  

The takeover comes into effect this Thursday. Danish registered DFDS claims it only has job openings for 202 of MyFerryLink’s current 600-strong workforce.

Giving details of a deal that is bound to cause further grief for travellers, spokesperson Emma Batchelor noted that DFDS was only taking over the vessels and not any reservations made for MyFerryLink services. She said travellers with bookings on MyFerryLink ferries should contact that operator directly.

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