Hundreds of Plymouth-bound passengers stranded by industrial action on ferry
HUNDREDS of Plymouth-bound travellers were left stranded in France last night following a "wildcat" strike by ferry workers.
Passengers were already queuing to board the Brittany Ferries vessel Armorique in Roscoff when her staff voted for industrial action.
The 24-hour strike, sparked by a row over company cutbacks, cancelled the voyage, which had been due to dock in Plymouth at 9.30pm.
Brittany Ferries said it was trying to arrange alternative transport for the 481 passengers.
BRAND NEW FORD B-MAX ZETEC 1.0 ECOBOOST FOR ONLY £7685*View details
DRIVE AWAY A BRAND NEW FORD B-MAX ZETEC FOR ONLY £7685.
1.0 100PS Manual
Electric Windows & Mirrors
Quickclear Heated Windscreen
15" Alloy Wheels
Bluetooth with Ford Sync
*Drive away from only £7685 and then pay nothing for 24 months!
Contact: 01626 240583
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
The company has also been forced to cancel this morning's scheduled 8am return ferry from the city to Roscoff. Staff were last night working to inform the 227 people booked to travel.
Brittany Ferries spokesman Chris Jones described the strike as "wildcat" action. However, many of the French workers are members of the Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail union.
They are protesting over changes to working patterns and staff benefits, introduced by Brittany Ferries bosses in a bid to cut costs.
The company blames recent losses on a "depressed market", high oil prices and a Pound that is weak against the Euro.
Mr Jones described changes to workers' conditions as "a necessity" in the current climate.
"This is a wildcat strike, which is all the more upsetting because we didn't even get the chance to warn our customers," he added.
Stranded passengers were last night being advised to drive 170 miles to Caen, in order to catch a ferry to Portsmouth. Brittany Ferries said it would reimburse travel costs.