DFDS vessels set for return to Calais
The Syndicat Maritime Nord (SMN), the seamen’s union behind the industial action at the Port of Calais over the past fortnight in protest over the fate of MyFerryLink, is poised to announce that it will allow DFDS’ vessels to use the Channel port again, where they have been denied access since 29 June.
P&O Ferries is currently the only ferry company operating into Calais.
A report this morning in the French newspaper Nord Littoral said the “concession” had been obtained by French Transport minster Alain Vidalies in return for Eurotunnel chief Jacques Gounon agreeing to attend negotiations this Friday with the SMN-controlled workers co-operative, SCOP Seafrance, aimed at resolving the dispute.
But the SMN is maintaining its occupation of the two MyFerryLink vessels which Eurotunnel has leased to DFDS. No-one at the union was immediately available to comment.
A DFDS spokesman told Lloyd Loading List.com: “I’ve just seen the report and can’t say at this stage whether we’ve been formally notified, but obviously any move to loosen the tight capacity situation on the Dover-Calais crossing is to be welcomed. We expect to know more later in the day.”
As for the negotiations to be held later this week, DFDS’ CEO Niels Smedegaard has previously underlined that a prior condition to the Danish group siting down with SCOP SeaFrance was the return of its two vessels, the Calais SeaWays and the Malo SeaWays on the Dover-Calais crossing.
A Eurotunnel spokesman could not confirm that Jacques Gounon would be present, adding that the group’s position on the negotiations was that they concerned SCOP SeaFrance and DFDS and not Eurotunnel.