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Striking French workers affect local sailings

Striking French workers affect local sailings

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Striking French workers affect local sailings

Wednesday 22 March 2023


Channel Island ferry services have been affected by industrial action in France yet again.

Port authority staff in St Malo are striking in protest at plans to raise the pension age in France.

A statement on Condor Ferries' website said today's Voyager sailing between the islands and France has been affected.

"Due to national strike action in France affecting port staff and operations in St Malo, our high speed service from St Malo and the Channel Islands on Wednesday 22 March has regrettably been cancelled.

"Affected passengers have been automatically moved to the next available service and will be notified accordingly."

Condor is also asking passengers who wish to transfer to other services, or to cancel their booking, to use the Live Chat feature on the website as phone lines are expected to be very busy. "Lines will be very busy, please be patient and only call if your query is urgent," the statement continued.

Other sailings have also been cancelled recently as a result of the industrial action in France.

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Pictured: Connexion, a French news site published in English, reports that strike action affecting French ports could continue tomorrow too.

Why are the French striking?

France 24 and other national news outlets have covered the strike action in detail with the recent industrial action described as "the biggest yet". In a country noted for taking its industrial action seriously that is quite the claim.

This year, French workers are striking in protest at plans to change their retirement and pension ages.

The government is planning to reform its pension bill which includes plans to raise the legal retirement age from 62 to 64 years old. This would affect people claiming the State pension with workers across numerous sectors striking in protest.

Transport infrastructure has been affected by the industrial action with airports, harbours, roads and trains impacted. Energy sites have been blocked off by picket lines, with pharmacy, school and engineering workers all striking too.

Millions of workers have walked out, while hundreds of thousands of people have converged in Paris and other notable locations with strikers described as a mix of "elderly, youth, and families". 

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Pictured: France 24 is among the news outlets offering rolling live coverage of the industrial action.

As well as French strikes affecting services, Condor is also warning that the weather forecast is against it this coming weekend.

The ferry firm has warned that "the forecast from Friday 24 March indicates inclement weather conditions with high wind speeds and sea heights predicted outside of legal limits in the Channel Islands’ area".

That means disruption is expected to the High Speed services scheduled for this weekend, including possible cancellations.

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