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French strike action closes Calais port

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French strike action closes Calais port
Striking MyFerryLink workers have closed the port of Calais again. Photo AFP
17:39 CEST+02:00
There was more disruption to cross-Channel ferries on Monday when French sailors held a wildcat strike that led to the closure of the port of Calais.

MyFerryLink workers took strike action for the second time in a week on Monday that resulted in the closure of the port of Calais and ferry services to and from the UK being cancelled.

All ferry services between Calais and Dover in the UK are affected. 

A spokeswoman for the port of Calais said motorists are advised to avoid the port and to change their journey plans. "Ferry traffic has been completely suspended," she told The Local.

Negotiations are currently ongoing to try to resolve the dispute but with MyFerryLink set to cease operations on Thursday, port authorities are concerned strike action could continue.

A source at the port told The Local: "We are a collateral victim in all this as are the other companies who operate here."

Confused and frustrated passengers took to social media to complain about not being able to board their ferries.

The dispute centres around Eurotunnel's decision to sell two of the MyFerryLink boats, which were formerly SeaFrance, to Danish company DFDS. 
 
Once MyFerryLink ceases operations on Thursday DFDS will take over, but the Danish company has said it will only keep 202 out of 577 workers, reported the Reuters news agency.

MyFerryLink had wanted extra time to find a solution but on Monday a court in Boulogne dismissed their appeal, which prompted the latest strike action.

Their strike last Tuesday, when 200 MyFerryLink workers forced their way onto the railway tracks in Calais, saw the suspension of the Eurotunnel car and lorry-carrying train services and Eurostar passenger trains.
 
Migrants camping out in Calais proved a headache for police at the time after they seized a chance to climb aboard the trucks that were left waiting in an attempt to get to the UK. 
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