Danish shipping company DFDS has finally taken over two Ro-Pax ferries previously operated by MyFerryLink after a two month delay in the delivery of the vessels which were occupied and damaged by the operator’s French workers.
Workers of the MyFerryLink, represented by SCOP-SeaFrance, had blocked the French port of Calais since the beginning of July, protesting job cuts that ensued after their company, owned by Groupe Eurotunnel SA, was sold to DFDS.
Some 600 former employees of SeaFrance were operating the MyFerryLink ferry service between Calais and Dover. However, DFDS said that it would not be able to take over the entire workforce and will employ around 400 people.
The ferries were released earlier this month after DFDS committed to keep the remaining 200 former SCOP-Seafrance employees in its French organization. Under the deal, DFDS will also pay additional compensation to the employees that were made redundant in January.
The two ferries – the Rodin and the Berlioz – were today officially handed over to DFDS in Dunkirk, under a bareboat charter agreement in accordance with the contract signed at the start of June 2015.
The vessels are said to have sustained estimated GBP 2 million worth of damage while being occupied by the workers.
Eurotunnel says that as a result of damage suffered by the ships whilst they were under the care of the liquidator of the SCOP SeaFrance, a period of repairs will be necessary. The vessels are expected to enter service by the end of November.