19 February 2014 - Channel Islands Press Release
19 February Update French Industrial Action Ends
This morning an agreement was reached between Condor Ferries and the striking deck crew in France, enabling the crew to return to work and allowing the resumption of sailings between the Channel Islands and St Malo.
“Our approach to the dispute has been to listen to the crew’s grievances and to try to accommodate them as much as possible, whilst ensuring that the interests of islanders are maintained,” said James Fulford, CEO, Condor Ferries. “We are pleased that the crew has chosen to accept the excellent package of insurances that we have offered and as a result, have called off their action.
“Condor is a Guernsey company and Condor Rapide will continue to sail under the well-respected Bahamian flag (which we use as Guernsey currently does not have a flag registration service for vessels of this size), although we are committed to continuing to explore the option of adopting the French flag (RIF) and the possibility of changing its crew to French contracts. These options will be explored in good faith, with final decisions to be made at a later date.
“I would like to thank our guests for their patience during this difficult time and I’d also like to apologise to them for the enormous disruption that the strike action has caused. We have worked hard to keep guests updated and offer alternative travel options and are sure that a negotiated agreement is the appropriate and desired outcome.”
18 February 2014 - UK Press Release
18 February Portsmouth Protest
Condor Ferries is confident that the crew members from Ukraine who work on board our conventional freight ferries, are happy with their terms and conditions of employment which include a comprehensive suite of air travel, free medical, accommodation and food benefits and that these terms exceed all required international standards All conventional ferry services operating between the Channel Islands and Portsmouth are operating as scheduled and those booked to travel on them should check in as normal.
“This protest is completely unrelated to the dispute in France of our French fast ferry crew and is to some extent spurious as the crew members that the protest relates to are not represented by the RMT union. Indeed they are already represented by their chosen union and have told us many times that they are happy with their terms and conditions of employment,” said James Fulford, CEO of Condor Ferries.
“It is important to understand that our ferries operate in international waters and are not confined to the EU, as such we operate under international maritime law. Our ships are flagged as one of the first signatories to the Maritime Labour Convention and we take pride in the fact that all our standards, whether related to employment or health and safety standards, meet and exceed those required by international law.”
17 February 2014 - Channel Islands Press Release
17 February Media Update
Negotiations between Condor Ferries management, led by CEO James Fulford, and the deck crew who are on strike aboard Condor Rapide continued throughout the weekend and are ongoing today [Monday].
With the half-term holidays in mind, Condor Ferries would like to see the strike ended in a fair and long-lasting manner, so that islanders wishing to travel to Europe are able to do so and for the Islands to be able to welcome visitors from the continent too.
15 February 2014 - Channel Islands Press Release
15 February Media Statement
An extra sailing from Weymouth to the Channel Islands has been scheduled for 1200hrs, tomorrow, 16 February, when the weather conditions are expected to have improved. For more information or to book travel on Sunday’s sailings, islanders should visit the Condor Ferries website (www.condorferries.com) or call our reservations team on 0845 609 1024.
In St Malo, talks are continuing between Condor Ferries’ negotiators and the 11 deck crew, who remain on strike.
14 February 2014 - Channel Islands Press Release
14 February Media Statement
Adverse weather conditions have affected sailings to the UK from the Channel Islands today and on Saturday, however the weather is expected to improve over the weekend. An extra high-speed sailing between the Islands and UK will be provided on Sunday to ensure guests are able to travel to their destinations in time for half-term.
In St Malo, the 11 deck-crew on strike, are still aboard Condor Rapide and in discussions with the Condor Ferries’ negotiating team, which includes the Chief Executive and other members of the senior management team, with a view to resolving the dispute. These talks include the option of improved alternative benefits, insurance and pensions for crew members.
A team is in Marseille at the Bureau des Affaires Maritimes, undertaking a detailed evaluation of the practical implications of sailing under the French flag known as RIF.
13 February 2014 - Channel Islands Press Release
13 February Media Statement
The 11 crew members in St Malo who have taken strike action are employed by Condor Marine Crewing Services Guernsey, a subsidiary of Condor Ltd Guernsey, which was founded in 1964 by islanders, for islanders. All Condor fast ferry crews are employed by the same company on the same contracts.
Basic pay for the crew starts at over 19,000 Euros per annum and rises to over 30,000 Euros. Most of those on strike are paid over 20,000 Euros.
Condor Ferries’ ships sail in international waters to the Channel Islands, and so Condor must ensure a full range of welfare cover is provided in employment for its staff, which is done through a range of external benefit providers and insurance, as well as direct payments from the company. Details of these are set out in the contracts of employment agreed by each staff member on joining. Minimum benefit levels are defined by International law under the Maritime Labour Convention, which has also been adopted by the countries crew are recruited from, Condor however provides for its staff well in excess of these minimum terms.
The question of pensions, company benefits and access for staff to local government schemes are all under active consideration and part of the open dialogue currently in progress with staff in St Malo.
On the issue of sailing under the French flag, we are looking into the implications of such a move but know it would require a significant duplication of infrastructure and will have significant tax implications the magnitude of which are under investigation. Indeed we are not even sure if the idea is legally feasible (qualification rules) and we fear it may lead to significant operational constraints. However, we are exploring the option in good faith.
Ultimately, we are a CI company founded by CI residents to provide a service for the Islands and any agreement reached must also be in the interests of islanders.
11 February 2014 - Channel Islands Press Release
11 February Media Statement
Condor Ferries offers alternative routes to France via UK whilst negotiations continue in St Malo In order to help guests already booked to travel to France from the Channel Islands on services from the 13th-17thFebruary, Condor Ferries has put in place alternative travel options.
These options route travel via Condor services to the UK then onwards to Western France on board ferries operated by other companies with Condor Ferries covering the cost of these journeys.
The original direct services to St Malo from the Channel Islands between 13th and 17th February have been cancelled as a result of the industrial action taken by 11 deck crew on board Condor Rapide.
Condor Ferries is contacting affected guests scheduled to travel between the Islands and France to help them make alternative travel plans. Guests with existing bookings will be given priority on these services to make their connections to UK/France, including light freight shippers who would normally travel on the route between St Malo and the Channel Islands. Any guest who is already booked to travel on the route between St Malo and the Channel Islands may also rearrange their travel without amendment charges or cancel and receive a full refund.
Meantime, in St Malo the Condor team continues to negotiate with the striking deck crew with particular regard to their demands that the company reflag Condor Rapide to the French flag, (RIF, Registre International Francais) and recognise the ITF – CGT Trade Union in France.
Yesterday, James Fulford, CEO of Condor Ferries, met with French representatives responsible for RIF and ENIM (maritime social security) – the Affairs Maritimes, the ITF representative and our crew. Current advice from the Affairs Maritimes, which manages RIF, is that it would be very difficult for Condor to change flag to RIF due to a number of legal requirements from which the company would need to gain exemptions. In addition, a thorough investigation of RIF by Condor and the implications of adopting it has also highlighted that it would be extremely costly even if legal exemptions were agreed.
James Fulford, CEO Condor Ferries said:
“I would like to apologise to all our guests who are affected by this situation and to assure them that we are working tirelessly to find a durable resolution to this dispute and also to help those planning to travel this weekend make suitable alternative arrangements. I know that there is still availability for new bookings on the route between the Channel Islands and the UK and our reservations and ports teams are standing by to help people to book.
We have presented an alternative package of enhanced benefits to both the Cabin crew and Deck crew and the Cabin Crew have responded in writing. This is a positive step forward and we will continue to explore this package with them all. We remain fully committed, through the Staff
Association, to ensuring the agreement that is reached is fairly applied to everyone who works in our Company regardless of location.”
09 February 2014 - Channel Islands Press Release
Media Update France
As negotiations between Condor Ferries and crew members continue, the decision has been made to cancel sailings between the Channel Islands and St Malo on both Sunday 9th and Monday 10th February.
Condor’s CEO and another senior director are onboard the vessel all weekend with an open attitude to engaging with the crew in discussions and had maintained payment of salaries so far.
Unfortunately, the union leader, who is operating for a union not recognised by Condor Ferries, and who had encouraged the crew to take this action, is refusing to acknowledge or respond to the detailed offer we made on 7th February, instead insisting that Condor Ferries fly under the French flag irrespective of the increased costs that this would entail and the subsequent effect that would have on fares for islanders.
07 February 2014 - Channel Islands Press Release
Guest & Media Update Friday
All Condor Ferries’ sailings to and from St Malo tomorrow have been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions and irrespective of the continuation of unannounced industrial action by our French crew.
Condor Ferries’ directors are on board the vessel in discussions with the crew members concerned with the aim of reaching a mutually beneficial outcome as soon as possible.
06 February 2014 - Channel Islands Press Release
6 February Media Statement
Condor Ferries’ sailing between Jersey and St Malo today has been cancelled due to unannounced industrial action by the our crew in France.
“I sincerely apologise to our guests who have been inconvenienced by this unannounced industrial action,” said James Fulford, CEO of Condor Ferries. “We are surprised and disappointed that our colleagues in France have chosen to express themselves in this way without notice, particularly as we are in very constructive discussions with them about their work and benefits.
“Condor Ferries is a caring and fair employer and we treat all our employees well, and we place the highest priority on the health and safety of our workforce. We will work with our colleagues in France to resolve this dispute as swiftly as possible in order to resume our services between the Channel Islands and France.”
Please look at our website for further news and updates on services to and from St Malo. Meanwhile our customer service teams are contacting any guests who are affected by this action.
06 February 2014 - Channel Islands Press Release
Media Statement 2
Condor Ferries’ customer services teams are completing their work to contact guests affected by the cancellation of sailings between Jersey and St Malo today (6th February 2014) which were necessitated by the unexpected industrial action of our crew in France.
In addition, Condor Ferries has cancelled the sailings scheduled to operate between Jersey and St Malo tomorrow (7th February 2014), as a result of the action. This will also affect Guernsey to St Malo passengers as the service connects via Jersey. However, passengers wishing to travel from Guernsey to St Malo will be able to do so via the UK, should they wish to.
03 February 2014 - UK Press Release
Condor Ferries drafts in young talent for viral video
Dorset-based Condor Ferries has joined forces with Thornlow Preparatory School in Weymouth for a new viral campaign designed to promote its popular Kids Go Free offer.
Fifteen pupils aged between five and eight from years R, 1, 2, 3 and 4 were given starring roles in the new video, which was filmed on board Condor Ferries flagship high speed ferry Condor Vitesse. The pupils play the roles of everyone on board, from passengers and stewards right up to the Captain, helping bring Condor’s Kids Go Free message to life.
“We wanted to do something a little bit different to help promote our current Kids Go Free offer,” said Justin Amey, Marketing Manager at Condor Ferries. “It was great to welcome the pupils from Thornlow to help us with the video – they did a fantastic job in helping to create a really fun piece of film. The offer is already proving very popular but with the childrens’ help we hope to see even more people taking advantage and booking their family holiday.”