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Date d'inscription : 05/08/2007

MessageSujet: Article du Lloyds List   Mer 2 Sep - 22:13

Le Havre port demonstration planned

Andrew Spurrier - mercredi 2 septembre
2009
TUG and port authority
personnel at the port of Le Havre are to demonstrate today to protest at the
refusal of the French authorities to react to a 21-day hunger strike by a chief
engineer over crewing practices at local Kotug subsidiary SNRH.
The rival CFDT and CGT unions at the port are to
stage a joint demonstration in front of the offices of the government’s local
maritime affairs department, which is responsible for overseeing crewing
regulations at the port.
They
have also asked for an urgent meeting with the prefect, claiming that chief
engineer Alain Bourgeois is putting his life in danger through the hunger strike
which he began on August 13.
“It goes without saying that the tension among all port workers is
increasing, that the social climate is deteriorating daily within the port
precinct,” local union leaders say in their letter to the prefect.

“Given the urgency of the situation
and in the name of all the local unions, we wish to meet you at the earliest
opportunity so as to find a solution to this situation.”
Alain Bourgeois, who is a CFDT representative at
SNRH, has been engaged in a long-running battle with SNRH, claiming that it has
consistently refused to observe French crewing regulations aboard its vessels at
Le Havre and, notably, to respect rest periods.
He began his hunger strike after claiming that the
company’s 7-day-on/7-day-off crewing system was preventing him from taking a
legitimate12-day leave period.
He has also accused the French authorities and, in particular, the
maritime affairs department of turning a blind eye to the situation.

SNRH chairman Dorus Knegtel insisted,
however, that the company was respecting French crewing regulations.

“We are respecting the regulations and
we are not bending our rules for just one guy who decides to go on hunger
strike,” he said.
SNRH operates
six vessels and employs 64 people at Le Havre. Mr Knegtel claimed that Mr.
Bourgeois was not supported by his colleagues, although Mr Bourgeois himself
argues that his colleagues do not want to speak out for fear of losing their
jobs.
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