French ferry workers have gone on wildcat strike over their pay and conditions being cut and degraded, and have occupied at least two or more of the eight ship fleet ( La Grande Bretagne and Cap Finestre), leaving the rest of the fleet unable to dock and halting all business…The crew of Cap Finistere have rechristened their ship the Black Pearl,( after the fictional pirate ship).  It seems some of the ships are being denied water and electricity by the bosses, but they are staying in touch through social media, spread out as they are across French , British and Spanish ports…Solidarity!




Filed under Politics

2 responses to “MUTINY ON THE FERRIES

  1. Tod Palin, leftie scourge

    Translation of an open letter from the crew of the Amorique. It seems the strike may have been settled but this has been an heroic struggle with solidarity. Predictably the management have behaved like shits. The media have either ignored or distorted the facts.

    Madame, Monsieur,

    We are writing on behalf of the crew of Brittany Ferries ship, Armorique.

    We are currently docked since Thursday 14:30 at Roscoff, 500m from headquarters but no manager came to see us. We are writing to you because we know you are concerned with social problems.

    We would like to review our current situation.

    We voted for a 24 hour strike to show our displeasure at the following:
    – Annualization of working time (work up to 14 hours a day)
    – Reduction of leave (2 weeks vacation per year)
    – Wage cuts – about 150 euros less on low wages, about 70 euros less on big wages and no reduction for our leaders …
    – Removal of certain allowances …

    Currently we are working on the basis of 10 hours per day in low season and high season 11 hours over a period of a week. We work from Tuesday to Tuesday, one week on, one week off. We have a day that begins at 6am and ends around 23:30 with rest periods during the day, including Sundays and holidays.

    We are subject to a security role and can be called upon at any time of day or night. We work in sometimes difficult weather forces 10 and 11 in winter. And in all circumstances we are serving the passengers.

    We are not asking for increases but we want to keep our current salaries and holiday conditions (5 weeks notice) and retain all functions and positions on board, because it is a system that that works well and meets our passengers’ needs.

    We are in no way responsible for the crisis, the rate of the pound or the price of a barrel of oil.

    We do not have the feeling of being wealthy, a large part of the crew are on the minimum wage.

    We are aware of the economic crisis but we can not accept a reduction in our salaries, especially unevenly.

    To date, some media report inaccurate information about our strike:

    On Friday, September 21 at 17:30, we voted to return to work in the presence of a bailiff. The whole crew returned to work after this vote, ready to welcome our guests.

    The management decided otherwise. All sailings are canceled until further notice. Management ordered us to leave the ship. We all refused because it would be considered abandonment of position if management decided to resume rotations.

    We therefore present ourselves every morning dressed for work, to our department head.

    Since Thursday, we are no longer fed by Brittany Ferries. Fridges full of food are locked. Our management leaves the food to rot rather than let us distribute or entrust it to charities. We eat food donated by our colleagues on shore leave and by the ingenuity of our sailors who have caught mackerel. All cooking facilities on board are unavailable. We use barbecues on the ramp.

    Today, Sunday, September 23, we hope that our management and unions have decided to end the crisis, and find common ground.

    We hope to resume our work, and welcome our guests, as is our profession.

    Thank you for the interest you have shown in our mail, receive our sincere greetings.

    The crew of the Armorique, at the quai in Roscoff

  2. Tod Palin Lefite Scourge

    The strike/lockout finally ended this morning (1/0ct./2012) after a very close vote. Not everyone voted because of fears that the electronic method of voting would be open to inspection by the management. with inevitable risk of victimisation. The management take care of themselves and have their own private jet. Many shareholders supported the workers and attempted to wrestle negotiations off the management. Note: not all shareholders were the big bad guys, many are small time Britany farmers who invested their savings in a traditional Britanny company – or at least that is what they believed. Video below.

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