Ferry cancellations as strikes hits Calais and Cherbourg ports

Workers’ ongoing protest against pension reforms affects several French ports. Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries are affected

Port of Calais with inset strike by the cgt union
Striking port workers are calling for June 7 to be a ‘dead port day’
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Several France to UK ferries have been cancelled today (June 7) due to a major strike over pension reform at ports in the north of France including Calais and Cherbourg. 

Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries are affected and further delays and cancellations should be expected. More strikes are announced for next week.

Freight transport is also impacted.

Port workers from the CGT union have been protesting against pension reform since May 30 and had called for June 7 to be a day of “ports morts”, or ‘dead ports’.

The union wants the government to add exemptions for port workers to last years’ pension reform law.

Read more: We failed to reverse controversial pension reforms, say French 


Which ports are affected by the strikes?

The strikes are affecting passenger ferries at Cherbourg and Calais ports as well as freight at Le Havre.

Both Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries have announced cancellations on Cherbourg and Calais routes.

Passengers travelling through these ports today (June 7) should anticipate disruption and contact their ferry companies for up-to-date information.

The port of Dover said that it was monitoring the situation, but following the cancellations, ferry traffic appeared to be flowing normally again.

Port workers are planning further strikes on June 13, 21 and 25.

Why are port workers protesting against pension reform?

France’s controversial pension reform law, which saw large-scale strikes last year, came into force on September 1, 2023.

It introduced a gradual increase of the minimum pension age from 62 to 64 by 2030. The minimum working time required to qualify for a full pension will increase to 43 years.

However, the reform allows exemptions for certain careers, including lorry drivers, but not port workers.