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Old 2nd Oct 12, 00:55   #1
elCercado
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Default BF industrial dispute September 2012 - the aftermath

In June of this year, Brittany Ferries management published a proposal entitled "Return to Competitiveness", designed to stem the losses sustained by the company over the past few years due to the recession, fuel prices and the depreciation of Sterling against the Euro. It included major changes to the terms, conditions and remuneration of crews. The measures included reductions in pay, 2 weeks less annual leave and increases in working hours.

In August, BF crews demonstrated their unhappiness with the changes by delaying several sailings by up to 2 hours. In the absence of any resolution of the issues, the crew of Armorique staged a 24 hour strike on 14th September, and matters came to a head on 20th/21st September when the crews of every vessel in the fleet staged a 24 hour strike. Brittany Ferries management responded to the strike by announcing an indefinite suspension of services, and ordering crews off the ships.

Over the next few days, meetings took place between management and unions, while crews continued to occupy the vessels. The trades unions proposed that sailings be resumed while negotiations on management proposals continued; management insisted that their plan "Return to Competitiveness" was agreed by the crews before services were restarted.

Management presented a final proposal to the unions on the evening of 26th September, with a deadline for agreement of the following morning. That deadline passed without agreement. On Friday 28th September, the French Minister of Transport held a "roundtable" meeting in an effort to resolve the dispute, but Brittany Ferries management did not attend. Meanwhile, the crews received their September salaries, finding that 1/3 had been withheld, covering not only the strike but the suspension/lockout.

"Diplomacy" by national and regional politicians continued over the weekend, and on Saturday evening, the unions, BF's CEO and the President of the agricultural cooperative SICA, which is BF's major shareholder, met. This meeting agreed to put the management proposal of 26th September to a telephone/email vote of the crews.

The vote took place over the afternoon and evening of Sunday 30th September, and resulted in about 58% in favour of accepting the management proposal. As I write this, BF's vessels are in the process of being re-stored and re-positioned in preparation for the resumption of services on the afternoon of Tuesday 2nd October.

Full (sometimes lively!) discussion and substantial documentation of the events above are available in the following threads on this forum:
Mainly news:
http://forums.bfenthusiasts.com/showthread.php?t=10936
Mainly comment:
http://forums.bfenthusiasts.com/showthread.php?t=11106
http://forums.bfenthusiasts.com/showthread.php?t=11136

Forum members have made clear that in their minds various issues remain, including:
  • The immediate financial impact of the dispute on a company already making losses
  • The loss of goodwill amongst crews due to the company's robust approach to the dispute
  • The effects on customer confidence of 12 days without services
  • The question of whether the "Return to Competitiveness" plan is too little, too late.
Let the discussion continue!
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Last edited by elCercado; 2nd Oct 12 at 01:30. Reason: phraseology
Old 2nd Oct 12, 09:14   #2
Stewartgd1
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Default Re: BF industrial dispute September 2012 - the aftermath

Well I'd just like to say that I hope that early passengers who have been perhaps inconvenienced or worse over the last couple of weeks don't take out their frustrations on the crew.

My wife is popping back to the UK Roscoff/Plymouth on Saturday and will be carrying cakes and other treats for them.
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Old 2nd Oct 12, 09:25   #3
colin
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Default Re: BF industrial dispute September 2012 - the aftermath

Bretagne left St Malo an hour ago with no passengers. her first service is from Portsmouth this evening. There is a BIG gap outside my window!
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Old 2nd Oct 12, 09:37   #4
Khaines
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Default Re: BF industrial dispute September 2012 - the aftermath

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/new...r_strike_ends/

Statement from Mme Jourdren. Not sure which thread to put it on, so may need to be moved.
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Barfleur - great things come in small packages
Old 2nd Oct 12, 09:56   #5
Jim
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Default Re: BF industrial dispute September 2012 - the aftermath

This thread's fine - we've closed the others and everything should now go in here.
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Old 2nd Oct 12, 10:08   #6
neilcvx
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Default Re: BF industrial dispute September 2012 - the aftermath

Rather nervously booked my summer hols for next year going down to Spain on the Pont and back on the Cap (not by accident) I did seriously consider going DFDS and having a shorter drive this side and going to a different part of France but heres hoping everything will be ok.
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Old 2nd Oct 12, 10:11   #7
Charles
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Default Re: BF industrial dispute September 2012 - the aftermath

From reading Ouest France today yes they have gone back to work but many are very unhappy but they need the money, I will be on fridays sailing from plymouth I wonder if I will sense any change in the mood of the crew
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Old 2nd Oct 12, 10:21   #8
Khaines
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Default Re: BF industrial dispute September 2012 - the aftermath

Can imagine there will be those who will be a bit teed off with it all, but best thing I would suggest is to be thankful that there is a service at all after all the recent woes and to show a little consideration to crew members even though one may disagree with their side of things. Hard though it may be for some people, but it is probably best to bite one's tongue at present.
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Barfleur - great things come in small packages
Old 2nd Oct 12, 10:32   #9
Steve in France
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Default Re: BF industrial dispute September 2012 - the aftermath

Quote:
Originally Posted by colin View Post
Bretagne left St Malo an hour ago with no passengers. her first service is from Portsmouth this evening. There is a BIG gap outside my window!
Any idea why they didn't take passengers from St Malo ? I'm sure they could have found some In that context would I be correct in assuming that the PA didn't carry passengers either ex Roscoff ?
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Old 2nd Oct 12, 11:31   #10
neilcvx
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Default Re: BF industrial dispute September 2012 - the aftermath

I would pressume it would be to stock up on supplies clean up run tests etc.
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