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

People & Company News

Obangame Express 2015 Concludes in the Gulf of Guinea

Maritime forces from Gulf of Guinea nations, Europe, South America, and the United States and several regional and international organizations concluded the multinational maritime exercise,

Scandlines Ferry Back in Service by End June

The damaged Scandlines ferry M/V Prinsesse Benedikte is being repaired at the Polish shipyard Remontowa and is expected to be ready before the end of June 2015.

Greece Will Sell Piraeus Port Stake in Weeks

The Greek government will sell its majority stake in the port of Piraeus within weeks, the country's deputy prime minister told China's official Xinhua news agency,

News

Gulf Bridge Express Service to End

The Gulf Bridge Express Service will shortly be terminated with the last roundtrip voyage being MV Saint Nikolaos voyage 00008S, ETA New Orleans on April 22, 2015.

Obangame Express 2015 Concludes in the Gulf of Guinea

Maritime forces from Gulf of Guinea nations, Europe, South America, and the United States and several regional and international organizations concluded the multinational maritime exercise,

Scandlines Ferry Back in Service by End June

The damaged Scandlines ferry M/V Prinsesse Benedikte is being repaired at the Polish shipyard Remontowa and is expected to be ready before the end of June 2015.

Ferries

Scandlines Ferry Back in Service by End June

The damaged Scandlines ferry M/V Prinsesse Benedikte is being repaired at the Polish shipyard Remontowa and is expected to be ready before the end of June 2015.

Washington State Ferry Tacoma Returns to Service

Washington State Ferry M/V Tacoma will return to work on the Seattle/Bainbridge Island route starting March 28 after suffering electrical damage last summer.   The

Greek Ferry Still Stuck

The Greek ferry that ran aground just outside of port on the Aegean Island of Kassos Wednesday night is still stuck. The 227 passengers and 55 crew aboard the

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
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: 0.1612 sec (6 req/sec)