ISLANDERS travelling to France by ferry are being warned they could face disruption caused by major strike action.
Large parts of the country have been brought to a standstill by a wave of industrial action and violent protests sparked by President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reforms.
The strikes, which have come just over a week before the Easter holidays, have paralysed much of France’s transport system, with major roads being blocked and rail, ferry and air services all badly affected.
On Wednesday, Condor cancelled its Voyager service at short notice because of strikes among port authority staff in St Malo.
Earlier this month, the UK Foreign Office issued a warning to people travelling to France, saying that ‘co-ordinated cross-sector action’ was planned for Thursday 23 March, and that there was likely to be further action in the coming weeks.
It urged travellers to ‘monitor the media, check the latest advice with operators before travelling, avoid demonstrations and follow the advice of local authorities’.
Condor Ferries has now issued a notice to Islanders who are planning to visit France over the coming days.
A spokesperson said: ‘We are aware that national strike action in France is ongoing and, as it extends to port authority staff, it may continue to affect our sailings between the islands and St Malo. If there is any disruption, passengers will be transferred onto alternative sailings and notified accordingly. We regret any inconvenience caused by such circumstances, which are entirely out of our control.’
The demonstrations erupted after President Macron pushed through reforms, including an increase to the retirement age from 62 to 64, without a vote in parliament.
Many of the strikes have been launched with little notice in an effort to cause maximum disruption.
An Islander currently in France told the JEP that there were ‘no signs of the strikes being resolved any time soon’.
She said: ‘We are all worried it’s going to continue for a while.’
She urged other travellers to fill their vehicles up with fuel before boarding the ferry, saying that blockades of petrol depots and refineries in northern France were causing shortages and queues.
Any Islanders wishing to transfer, discuss other options or cancel their booking with Condor can visit the company’s website or call 0345 609 1026.