Corsica Very Worried About the Strike at the Beginning of the Holiday Season
La Méridionale is on strike and unions block the port of Marseille.
The industrial action started six days ago. Two ships from La Méridionale and three ships from Corsica Linea are currently blocked.
The reason is the fact that La Méridionale has been excluded from the latest DSP, at least from three of the five ports. The main ones!
La Méridionale, traditionally a partner of Corsica Linea (and before SNCM), decided this time to tender alone for the DSP.
Because the company only owns three vessels they needed to acquire two extra ships, which didn’t go easy. A plan to charter a Stena RoRo ship couldn’t be realised. Last minute La Méridionale had to change their plans, and it was said they were going to have LIVERPOOL SEAWAYS instead.
Another ship that was going to reinforce the three-ship fleet had to be changed eventually.
Because of the different characteristics of the initially planned vessels, it was decided the candidature of La Mériodionale was not valid.
This means that in spite of their historic track record (with no industrial actions as with the defunct SNCM), La Méridionale will be excluded from all major Corsican services tenders.
The Corsican tourist industry is of course very worried, with the 1st of July around the corner.
The customer information page on the La Méridionale website explains (in French) the ‘why’ of the strike.
Ferry Shipping News translated the last paragraph:
“Today, at the dawn of a decision taken by partisan parties and stained by procedure errors, our candidature to (de)serve the Corsicans and Corsica is about to be rejected for the next 15 months.
Tomorrow, you (the customer) will no longer have a free choice.”