The French Prime Minister, M. Jacques Chirac, estimates the France is losing about 100 million?
The French Prime Minister, M. Jacques Chirac, estimates the France is losing about 100 million francs (over nine million pounds sterling) a year and has pledged to take her out of commission in October. The French Minister of Labour, M. Michel Dufour, last week promised to do everything possible to secure alternative employment for the estimated 3,000 people who would be affected by the liner's possible withdrawal from service.
Union leaders estimate about 7,000 seamen and dockers are involved in the 48-hour strike in French ports alone - with many more joining the dispute overseas.
The effects of the strike were felt almost at once. In Marseilles passenger and cargo service to North Africa ceased and to the north cross-channel ferry services between England and France were halved. English seamen agreed with the French unions not to run any additional services.
SYNOPSIS: Marseilles in the South of France - where local seamen and dickers joined a nation-wide two-day strike call on Monday. The strike, organised by French maritime unions, is in support of the rebel crew of the luxury liner France. The France is lying off the port of Le Havre. The crew took it over several days ago when they heard of government plans to scrap the vessel.
Passenger and cargo services in and out of France have been brought to a virtual standstill. As well as the seven thousand seamen on strike in France, French merchant seamen in foreign ports are believed to be actively supporting the action.
In Marseilles, ferries linking the port with North africa halted. To the north, cross-channel services to England were halved and British seamen agreed to co-operate with the French unions, refusing to run any additional services.
In the France is taken out of commission over three thousand jobs are affected. However, the government has promised alternative employment.