WILDCAT strikes by French crew caused cancellations of several Brittany Ferries sailings.
The strikes began at 3pm yesterday as the Portmouth based firm’s all-French crew took industrial action over proposals to change shift patterns and take away some benefits.
Crossings to France and Spain were affected.
They included the 4.30pm to Caen and the 10.45pm to Caen yesterday.
The services cancelled today are:
-Portsmouth-Caen departing at 14.45
-Portsmouth-Cherbourg departing at 15.30
-Portsmouth-St Malo departing at 20.15
-Portsmouth-Caen departing at 22.45
The French unions CGT and CFDT were behind the strikes.
Chris Jones, from Brittany Ferries, said: ‘We have got some industrial action that’s affecting our Portsmouth to Caen services as well as our Portsmouth to Spain services.
‘It is a wildcat strike by some of our crew.
‘We apologise to all our passengers who are affected and we are doing our very best to find alternatives.’
Addressing the reasons for the strike Mr Jones said: ‘‘We are looking at changing shift patterns and taking away certain bonuses.’
In a statement the ferry company said: ‘We are systematically contacting our passengers by telephone, email, SMS and Twitter but this is placing enormous pressure on our contact centre so that our speed of response may not be up to its usual standards.
‘Therefore passengers are being asked not to contact us by telephone but to visit the website www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/routes/sailing-updates for the latest information.
‘Because of the uncertainty we are recommending customers to travel to Dover where we have special arrangements in place with P&O Ferries and MyFerryLink to accept Brittany Ferries tickets.
‘No bookings are needed and “care teams” are in place at both Dover and Calais to assist rerouted passengers. A full refund will, of course be given for the unused Brittany Ferries crossings.
‘Brittany Ferries condemns this action and is doing everything possible to resolve it as quickly as possible.’