Threat of further Calais strikes remains after talks fail to reach compromise

The prospect of more strikes at the Port of Calais remains on the cards for long suffering hauliers, after the latest talks between DFDS Seaways and the affected workers appeared to end without a resolution.

Workers belonging to the Maritime Nord union have been striking following the end of the MyFerryLink service in July, a partnership between SCOP Sea France and Eurotunnel.

Following a ruling by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority that Eurotunnel must cease sailing from Dover it elected to end the service and sell two of the ferries to DFDS Seaways.

However, this put up to 600 SCOP Sea France jobs at risk and prompted the series of strikes at Calais that have crippled the port, Channel and seen Operation Stack in operation far more extensively then ever before.

A spokeswoman for DFDS Seaway said: “After a series of roundtable talks, thanks to the strong involvement of the French Secretary of State, Alain Vidalies, on Friday 31 July DFDS Seaways reaffirmed its intention to submit an offer to hire 202 workers from SCOP SeaFrance.”

Max Foster, passenger director for DFDS Seaways, added: "We have offered to charter two of the Eurotunnel owned vessels and to employ over 200 of the former MyFerryLink workers.

“Also, we were planning to add an additional vessel onto our own Dover to Calais service. We are now detailing the job descriptions of these 202 new positions and hope that all parties involved will understand the need for a quick solution to this situation.”

However, despite this, understands that the offer of 200-plus jobs is the same that had been previously put to Maritime Nord union and rejected sparking subsequent industrial action.

The DFDS Seaways spokeswoman added that at this point the ferry company had not had a response from Maritime Nord in regards the offer.

It came as a road transport solicitor criticised the fact that despite the chaos in Calais UK hauliers were still liable for stowaway fines.

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