Strikes Disrupt French Ferry Service; Passengers Stranded

Worrisome news from the UK and France: According to the Telegraph, Brittany Ferries has suspended operations between southwest England and France because of a prolonged dispute over working conditions, leaving "thousands" of passengers stranded over the weekend.

The "loss-making company," as the paper described it, has scrapped its program after a series of "wildcat strikes" by French crew protesting plans to cut pay and increase working hours.

The decision to suspend operations on Friday hit the travel plans of around 20,000 people over the weekend, most of whom were traveling between Roscoff, Caen, Cherbourg, St Malo in France and Poole, Portsmouth and Plymouth in England. Brittany Ferries has also been forced to suspend its services to Santander and Bilbao on the northern Spanish coast.

Passengers stranded in France have been re-routed by the Channel ports with Brittany Ferries reimbursing motoring costs passengers incur driving to Calais rather than their scheduled point of departure. Negotiations between both sides are continuing. Although no end is in sight to the dispute, the talks were described as “constructive.”


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