Danish shipping company DFDS Seaways has agreed to settle its ongoing dispute with workers at ferry service MyFerryLink over possible job cuts.
Earlier this year, MyFerryLink’s parent Eurotunnel agreed to sell the business to DFDS Seaways after it failed to overturn a ban on it to operate the Calais-to-Dover route.
The company intended to clinch a deal with workers’ cooperative SCOP SeaFrance; however, the latter failed to submit an offer over lack of financial support.
Around 487 jobs were at a risk as a result of the transaction.
Since early July, workers staged protests at the port, and occupied the Berlioz and Rodin ships that are part of the sale.
Under the latest deal, DFDS has committed to employ 202 former SCOP-Seafrance employees in its French operations, while Eurotunnel will employ 200. Consequently, workers have agreed to return the two ferries to DFDS.
However, over 70 people on the UK side of the channel were laid-off.
Dover and Deal Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke was quoted by BBC as saying that around half of the British workers affected had found other jobs.
"I talked to DFDS this morning and asked them to provide a future for the British workers." he added.
DFDS expects to deploy the ferries by the end of the year on Dover-Calais together with Calais Seaways.
The Danish firm will thereafter operate three ferries each on Dover-to-Calais and Dunkirk routes, respectively.
Image: Berlioz at the Port of Calais. Photo: courtesy of Lionel Allorge / Wikipedia.
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