According to an AP report, Irish Ferries PLC rejected
an Irish Labor Court recommendation
and plans to continue with widely criticized plans to replace more than 500 employees with cheaper workers from Eastern Europe.
The struggling operator of car ferries between Ireland, Britain and France did not accept the court's nonbinding ruling, which called on Irish Ferries to honor its 2004 wage-pact agreement with the two labor unions involved.
According to the report, Irish Ferries claims to have faced unprecedented adverse trading conditions driven by rising fuel costs and a decline in car-based tourism, and sees its cost-reduction program as the only course of action.
To make it easier to avoid Ireland
's minimum wage laws, the company wants to register its vessels in a different EU country but the government's Department of the Marine has rejected Irish Ferries' application to shift its flag to Cyprus.