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 GREVE REMORQUAGE TOUTE LA PRESSE EN PARLE

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Date d'inscription : 05/08/2007

MessageSujet: GREVE REMORQUAGE TOUTE LA PRESSE EN PARLE   Ven 2 Mai - 21:54

FR3 flash info

La Tribune

Le Havre tug crews walk out as 72-hour disruption starts


Workers at other French ports set to come out in support



Andrew Spurrier - Tuesday 29 April 2008
LEADING French ports, already struggling under the impact of industrial
action by port authority employees, are now faced with a three-day national
strike by tug crews, starting tomorrow.
Crews at the port of Le Havre, the country’s leading container port, are set
to strike tomorrow for 72 hours, in protest at the decision of the port
authority to renew the operating licence of Kotug subsidiary, SNRH, despite what
the unions claim is its flagrant failure to respect collective agreements.
The Le Havre crews will be joined on strike this Friday by their colleagues
at other leading French ports, who will also be staging three-day stoppages.
Crews at Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes-Saint Nazaire, Rouen and Dunkirk have
already confirmed that they will take action in support of their colleagues at
Le Havre.
All the major unions representing tug crews are backing the strike, claiming
that the decision of the port of Le Havre to renew SNRH’s operating licence is
an attack on their employment rights.
They say that, in deciding to renew the company’s operating licence, the port
of Le Havre has overridden the findings of the government’s maritime affairs
department, the maritime work inspectorate and the local prefecture, which have
ruled that SNRH’s operating licence is dependent on its respect for collective
and other local agreements.
They are particularly incensed over onboard working arrangements at SNRH,
which require crews to be available for emergency cover during their rest
periods onboard their vessels.
They claim that, as a result, SNRH crews effectively work 4,400 hours per
year, compared with 2,200 for their colleagues at the Le Havre subsidiary of
leading French tug operator Les Abeilles.
No one was available for comment yesterday at the port of Le Havre or SNRH,
although there was speculation the port could attempt to head off the strike by
suspending the company’s operating licence.
The strike threat comes at a time when Le Havre and other leading French
ports are already losing large amounts of cargo tonnage as a result of
industrial action by port authority terminal employees who are resisting plans
to transfer them to the private sector under French government port reform
legislation.
Port authority employees are currently staging weekly 24-hour strikes and a
general go-slow, which the ports say is reducing their activity by as much as
70%.
At Marseilles, France’s leading cargo port by volume, 25 vessels, including
21 oil and product tankers, were reported to be strikebound yesterday.
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