Valls Urges End to Strike at "Sinking" Ferry Group SNCM

Posted by Eric Haun
Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Workers at France-Corsica ferry operator SNCM must end their strike and let the troubled company undergo a restructuring to secure its future, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday.

Loss-making SNCM, whose unions have been on strike since June 24, risks bankruptcy and needs to be placed under court protection, Valls told TV station TF1 in an interview.

"This situation cannot go on and there needs to be a court-ordered restructuring, because this company is sinking, and in fact the days of strike that accumulate are only putting it more into trouble," Valls said.

The comments were even harsher than those of France's transport minister, who first said last week that SNCM needed court protection to shield itself from a European Commission order to repay 440 million euros ($600.2 million) in state aid.

Unions oppose the court restructuring option because they fear it will lead to job losses and less favourable labour terms. The government has already instructed a mediator to facilitate negotiations between the unions and management.

"The company is in danger of death," Valls warned, saying it could still survive if its workers were ready to negotiate and to take up certain challenges, notably concerning routes to and from North Africa. He did not elaborate.

Owned 66 percent by Transdev - a public transport joint venture between water and waste group Veolia Environnement and state-bank CDC - the ferry operator has racked up cumulative losses of 250 million euros over the past decade despite subsidies it receives from French authorities.

Some legal experts say a Chapter 11-style restructuring would allow a new owner to buy some of SNCM's ships and continue some of its current routes under a new legal structure and with part of the company's staff.

SNCM's restructuring is crucial for Veolia as the current stalemate blocks a plan to sell most of its stake in Transdev - a tram, train and bus operator with turnover of 7 billion euros and 90,000 staff in more than 20 countries - to CDC.

($1 = 0.7331 Euros)

(Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Maritime Reporter February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Davie Building LNG-powered Ferries

Canadian shipbuilder Davie held a keel laying ceremony for MV Armand-Imbeau II, marking the beginning of the hull assembly for this first of two sisterships under

Van der Vlist Expands Zeebrugge Facilities

Van der Vlist Zeebrugge has expanded the capacity of the Zeebrugge site. The indoor and outdoor storage facilities now occupy a surface of 50,000 m². A new 950

Keppel FELS to Deliver 100th Jackup Rig

Keppel FELS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) is on track to deliver PV Drilling VI, a KFELS B Class jackup rig, to PV Drilling Overseas (PVDO),

News

HHI to Add Massive Heavy Lift Vessel

Hyundai Heavy Industries to add 10,000 ton heavy lift vessel to its offshore facility-building infrastructure legion   Shipbuilder and offshore facilities contractor Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.

MES Delivers FPSO Hull to MODEC

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) delivered the hull of a floating production, storage and offloading unit (FPSO) for MODEC, Inc.   The FPSO hull

Van der Vlist Expands Zeebrugge Facilities

Van der Vlist Zeebrugge has expanded the capacity of the Zeebrugge site. The indoor and outdoor storage facilities now occupy a surface of 50,000 m². A new 950

Ferries

Davie Building LNG-powered Ferries

Canadian shipbuilder Davie held a keel laying ceremony for MV Armand-Imbeau II, marking the beginning of the hull assembly for this first of two sisterships under

Rolls-Royce to Power Zhuhai Ferries

Rolls-Royce has been selected to supply waterjets and high speed MTU diesel engines to power two new aluminium catamaran fast ferries for Chinese ferry operator

More Bodies Found in Bangladesh Ferry Disaster

Nine bodies were retrieved from a river in central Bangladesh on Wednesday, said Harun-ur Rashid, a regional police official, bringing to 79 the number of people

 
 
Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1674 sec (6 req/sec)