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Ferry boss warns of legal action against French protestors


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Christophe Santoni
Christophe Santoni

Ferry company LD Lines have issued a scathing response against SeaFrance unions for their latest demonstration against British Flag (Red Ensign) vessels, operating on their fast-ferry service between Dover and Boulogne.

Members of the Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail (French Democratic Confederation of Labour) have twice attempted to disrupt tourist and freight traffic travelling to and from the port of Boulogne, with demonstrations against the LD Lines’ new seacat Norman Arrow.

LD Lines’ managing director, Christophe Santoni, said: "The latest behaviour of CFDT unions is totally irresponsible by claiming the British Flag to be a Flag of Convenience.

"This totally discredits the work and representation of the two English unions - RMT and Nautilus - the very unions with whom the salaries of crews of our British Flag vessels have been negotiated and approved."

French ferry company, LD Lines, has created around 80 jobs on board its newly-introduced ferry Norman Arrow, with further jobs being created in the ports of Dover and Boulogne. The new route has rapidly expanded since opening in February this year with a conventional ferry.

"We are a company that believes in free and unrestricted competition and find the attitude of the SeaFrance (CFDT) unions utterly disgraceful and totally misguided," said M Santoni. "These are the same unions who have been instrumental in creating the dire financial situation over many years that their own company, SeaFrance, finds itself in today, and are now trying to deflect their own created problems as being caused by LD Lines, as the newest operator across the Dover Straits."

LD Lines has confirmed that any further attempt to disrupt ferry services between Dover and Boulogne, will be punished and the company will exercise its right to take legal action against those responsible."

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