Workers at Calais and MyFerryLink react badly to Eurotunnel selling the Dover-Calais operator’s ships to rival DFDS.
Plus, a new batch of hybrid Toyota Prius for reformed Ukraine traffic police. Horrifying death toll on Polish roads last weekend. DVLA computer system crashes on day driving licence paper counterpart abolished. The north side of the Gotthard Pass is likely closed until mid-July.
EUROTUNNEL SELLS MYFERRYLINK SHIPS
Keeps Nord Pas de Calais, possibly for hazardous freight.
A wildcat strike by MyFerryLink workers following Eurotunnel’s sale of its ferries to DFDS yesterday was quickly called off this morning.
The operator said it was, ‘Pleased to advise MyFerryLink services will resume with the 12:15 ex Calais & 13:30 ex Dover and will continue with a full schedule.’
As expected, it was announced last night that Eurotunnel will sell two of MyFerryLink’s three ships to rival Dover-Calais operator DFDS after a protracted legal battle sparked by the UK competition authority.
In an earlier statement, Eurotunnel said it ‘regrets’ that MyFerryLink had not been able to mount its own takeover.
It continues, ‘The manner in which DFDS conducted itself during the recruitment of ex SeaFrance personnel in 2012 gives hope for the best solution possible with regard to preserving employment, without interruption to services.’
Later on however, after Eurotunnel boss Jacques Gounon admitted in a press conference that not all MyFerryLink jobs would be preserved, dock workers in Calais downed tools ‘in solidarity’ for three hours this afternoon, paralysing all ferry services.
Meanwhile, MyFerryLink was struggling with the news that the chairman of its supervisory board Didier Cappelle has been found dead this morning after a suffering a suspected heart attack.
MyFerryLink employs 476 people of which 370 work on board the ferries.
The deal takes effect from 2 July according to DFDS.
Meanwhile Eurotunnel says it will keep the third ship, Nord Pas de Calais, though in exactly what capacity is not completely clear, or what brand it will sail under.
Pending agreement by the competition authority, the firm says it will be ‘operated in co-ordination with the Fixed Link’.
Industry insiders speculate that the ship will be used to carry hazardous freight.
roundup: POLAND. Forty six people died on the roads over the Corpus Christi holiday weekend reports Radio Poland, the same number as last year. Police blame speeding, ‘arrogance’ and DUI. While Poland has traditionally been regarded as having the most dangerous roads in Europe, total deaths fell by 17% in the past five years, and by 3% last year. According to the most recent World Health Organisation statistics, Polish roads are only marginally more dangerous than those in the USA. DRIVING LICENCE. The paper counterpart to the UK driving licence is abolished today (8 June). It will likely make life more difficult for drivers wanting to hire cars abroad. They will have to log onto the DVLA website for an access code to show hirers any endorsements or points. Demand was so great today that the DVLA computer system crashed. The AA advises drivers to hold onto their paper counterparts ‘for the time being’. See the official step by step guide to the new system here. SWITZERLAND. Rock fall late last month in the Schollenen Gorge, at the north end of the Gotthard Pass, means the road will be closed likely until mid-July we are told by local @MakingAndermatt. A large chunk of loose rock is still hanging above the road. The south side of the H2 Gotthard Pass is open, as is the access to the Furka Pass, and the Oberalp and Lukmanier Passes (via Andermatt). For the latest information on getting around the mountains in the area see the official Andermatt website. Otherwise see our PassFinder.