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CGT France expresses solidarity with RMT and Nautilus campaign against P&O Ferries

25 March 2022

A federation of French unions, CGT France, has sent a message of solidarity for the campaign by Nautilus and the RMT against P&O Ferries' decision to lay off of 800 employees.

In a letter of support it said: 'The CGT Federation of maritime unions, merchant navy officers, railway and transport workers stand in solidarity with our comrades and fully support the seafarers of this shipping company [P&O Ferries].

'We cannot accept that P&O employees serve as an "adjustment variable" to guarantee colossal profits to the shareholders despite all the aid of the British state for several years.'  

The company's decision to use crewing agencies that employ cheaper seafarers from Eastern European countries was a 'strategy established by shipping companies without principle, in order to increase their profits', said CGT.

'We condemn such rogue methods both in substance and form. They are shocking and brutal. They are the result of an ultra-liberal policy within Europe, supported by our [French] government. We cannot remain silent in front of the social dumping which takes place in all the European waters'.

In a warning, CGT said it particular supported the campaign against the P&O Ferries layoffs because it had seen France establish the French International Register – seen as a flag of convenience by CGT. France has also proposed a new recovery model to improve the competitiveness of the French flag which allows such practices, said CGT.

'Establishing the net wage, the door is wide open to social dumping in the cross-Channel,' the federation added.

CGT called upon European governments to restore their first register national flag, without delay, to secure jobs and guarantee working conditions.


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