Agreement struck to end Dover-Calais ferries dispute

DFDS has announced that an agreement has been reached between the staff representatives of SCOP-SeaFrance, Eurotunnel and DFDS – concerning the release of the former MyFerryLink ferries Rodin and Berlioz – signalling the end of disruptions to cross-Channel services between the ports of Dover and Calais.

The settlement was reached with the assistance of the French transport minister Alain Vidalies on 31 August following protracted negotiations.  As part of the agreement, DFDS is committing to the employment of 202 former SCOP-Seafrance employees in its French organisation.

Depending on when Eurotunnel is able to deliver the ships to DFDS Seaways, the Berlioz and Rodin are expected to be deployed during Q4 2015 on Dover-Calais together with Calais Seaways.

DFDS Seaways will operate three ferries on this route instead of two vessels which are in service at the moment.  Malo Seaways, which currently sails alongside Calais Seaways, will be deployed elsewhere in DFDS’ network.

This will mean that DFDS will operate a total of six ferries out of Dover to Calais and Dunkirk respectively, with three ferries on each route.  The additional frequency and capacity of the future operational set-up will enhance DFDS’ offering to both freight customers and passengers.

Carsten Jensen, senior vice president at DFDS Seaways commented: “This ends a long period of uncertainty for both our employees and our customers on the Channel as this agreement gives us the platform needed to create a sustainable ferry service on the Channel.

“It also means that we have an equal number of French and UK flagged ships on the Channel, making the service a truly Anglo-French partnership, which we believe is in everyone’s best interests.”