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 June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Panama Canal to Celebrate 100 Years

To commemorate its centennial, the Panama Canal will host a series of events August 14-15 in Panama City to highlight the impact of the waterway during the past century.

Statoil, Repsol, ExxonMobil Win Colombian Offshore License

Statoil announced today that it has been awarded interest in the COL4 license offshore Colombia in the Caribbean Sea in the 2014 Colombia Licensing Round, along with Respol and ExxonMobil.

SHIPPINGInsight 2014 Agenda Announced

Annual Conference, Exhibition and Networking Event Brings Together Shipowners and Technology Companies to Address Practical Solutions for Efficient Operations The

News

Panama Canal to Celebrate 100 Years

To commemorate its centennial, the Panama Canal will host a series of events August 14-15 in Panama City to highlight the impact of the waterway during the past century.

Concordia Finally Heads for Scrapyard

The rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia began its journey to the scrapyard on Wednesday, after a two-year salvage operation off the Italian island where the cruise liner capsized two years ago,

Statoil, Repsol, ExxonMobil Win Colombian Offshore License

Statoil announced today that it has been awarded interest in the COL4 license offshore Colombia in the Caribbean Sea in the 2014 Colombia Licensing Round, along with Respol and ExxonMobil.

Ferries

Korea Ferry Businessman's Body Located

Yoo had been target of South Korea's largest manhunt; Failure of police to catch Yoo had been burden for Park government. The body of South Korea's most wanted man,

South Korea Police: Body May Be Ferry Disaster Fugitive's

South Korean police are trying to confirm the identity of a body they believe may have been the fugitive head of the family that owned the operator of a ferry that capsized in April,

Canadian Ferries Welcome Govt. Funding

The Canadian Ferry Operators Association (CFOA) welcomed today’s announcement of $58 million over two years to support ferries in Eastern Canada. “We are happy

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics 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: 0.2048 sec (5 req/sec)