Ferries from Saint Malo to the Channel Islands Resume

CondorFerry sailings between France and the Channel Islands are resuming after an agreement was reached to end two weeks of strike action by the French deck crew employed by Condor Ferries.

The crew have been occupying the Rapide ferry in Saint Malo since 06 February in a dispute over pay and conditions. They have now returned to work after agreeing new terms.

‘Our approach to the dispute has been to listen to the crew’s grievances and to try to accommodate them as much as possible, whilst ensuring that the interests of islanders are maintained,’ explained Condor chief executive officer James Fulford.

‘We are pleased that the crew has chosen to accept the excellent package of insurances that we have offered and as a result, have called off their action,’ he said.

But a demand that the ferry should be registered under the French flag has not been agreed and James Fulford said it will continue to sail under the Bahamian flag which the Guernsey based company uses because the island does not have its own flag registration.

Fulford added that the firm will continue to explore the option of adopting the French flag and the possibility of changing its crew to French contracts with final decisions to be made at a later date.

‘I would like to thank our guests for their patience during this difficult time and I’d also like to apologise to them for the enormous disruption that the strike action has caused. We have worked hard to keep guests updated and offer alternative travel options and are sure that a negotiated agreement is the appropriate and desired outcome,’ he added.

It is estimated that the strike, which resulted in all sailings from Saint Malo to the Channel Islands being cancelled, has cost the ferry company up to £500,000.

Fulford confirmed that sailings will resume on Thursday 20 February. ‘Nobody is a winner out of this situation, it has been very difficult for Condor and very difficult for our crew. They have made a very courageous decision, it is the right decision for themselves, the company and the islands. They get a lot of protection under French law, there was very little we could do to get them back to work,’ he added.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as PropertyWire.com, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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