Nautilus representatives today met with senior management at P&O Ferries as part of measures seeking to avoid an industrial dispute between the company and the Union.
Nautilus International objects to P&O Ferries returning the Pride of Burgundy to service with agency crew that sit outside of the established collective bargaining agreement and long-standing safe schedule/rostering arrangements.
Last week, members voted to approve the Union's strong stance on short sea safety, endorsing a potential industrial dispute. The meeting today, a dispute avoidance meeting, facilitated both sides to reach out in advance of formalising a dispute situation.
'The meeting was frank but courteous,' said Nautilus head of industrial Micky Smyth. 'We reaffirmed our view that we firmly believe working 12 hours a day on a five round trip schedule for more than seven days is too intense. We also shared information relating to the 2012 company-commissioned fatigue study carried out by Cardiff University, which strongly supports our position on this issue.
'The company provided a short financial update, discussed their need to reintroduce the Pride of Burgundy, and reiterated their view that they believe their proposal is safe.
'The company has also now stated that there will be permanently employed officers on the vessel adhering to the CBA, working alongside agency staff.
'We have agreed to discuss matters further in an attempt to hopefully resolve our differences as soon as possible.'
Nautilus will continue to update members on the situation as it develops.