Danish cross-Channel operator DFDS resumed sailings between Calais and Dover this morning after a “positive” round table meeting organised by French Secretary of State for Transport Alain Vidalies in Paris yesterday.
DFDS suspended its sailings between the two ports on Sunday after disturbances in the port of Calais on Saturday evening involving French seafarers who had been manning MyFerryLink vessels until the company ceased operations at the start of this month.
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It agreed at yesterday’s meeting, however, to restore normal service between Dover and Calais while the ministry pursues its efforts to get an agreement between it, Eurotunnel and the MyFerryLink seafarers following “new proposals”.
Today, it tweeted that sailings from Dover had resumed at 0730 and that there would be a full return to normal service this afternoon.
The talks have been suspended pending the organisation of a new round table meeting between the parties on Thursday afternoon.
The French seafarers, who belong to a 600-strong co-operative that had been crewing the MyFerryLink vessels under a contract with owner Eurotunnel, are fighting to save their jobs following Eurotunnel’s decision to dispose of MyFerryLink’s two car ferries via a lease-charter agreement with DFDS.
Following the signing of the agreement, MyFerryLink ceased its activities at the start of this month, leaving the seafarers without work. DFDS has proposed taking on 200 of them and Eurotunnel another 120 to main a freight ferry it is retaining for its own use but the minister had urged them to take on greater numbers so as to provide work for 380 of the 487 permanent contract holders in the co-operative.