Friday, October 16, 2009

Pam Roach Report Gives Eyewitness Account Of French Strike

The BBC report that follows is very accurate. But, first, here is an on the ground report:

Dover, England, earlier today
Pam Roach Report

Our two cars were in line waiting for the 12:25 PM ferry to depart Dover, England and traverse the Dover Channel to Calais, France. We were hoping for a no hitch crossing as 2 year-old Jack can sometimes be frustrated with delays. After an hour and the ferry was not boarding we noticed that people in suits and safety jackets were making their way down the lines giving out tickets. (Here PPR records the first "GOOD" tickets to be given by transportation authorities in the history of mankind!)

Just yesterday the P&O Ferries had transported over 25,000 people in over 5,000 cars, over 8,000 lorries (trucks) and 133 coaches. That is what the electronic reader board was telling us. At this moment it all stopped.

We were not too disappointed as the tickets were passes to use the Eurochannel, the underground tunnel between England and France. We opted for the less expensive ferry and now we were getting an experience of a lifetime for the cost of the ferry ride.

We drove seven miles to the chunnel and boarded a train. The cars drove in from the side of a cattle car door. There were two decks and barely enough room to open a door if you had needed to do so. Riding in our vehicles we moved slowly at first. It was a gradual descent. And then we sped at 130 KPH to France. It took 30 minutes or one third the time as the ferry.

Driving the highway on our way back to our USAF base in Germany, the northbound lane was all but stopped as three police escorted units of farm tractors worked their way toward the port. The back up was 16 miles. It was good to be heading south and little Jack slept through it all!

The chunnel is all about commerce which has now been ground to a halt. The harbor has been blocked on the sea side and the tractors by now have long closed entry to the docks. For the most part this trip has been sans politics. Pam

Striking staff block French port
BBC Dover
Services between Dover and Calais have been suspended

Thousands of ferry passengers have been stranded at the Kent port of Dover after striking French SeaFrance workers blockaded the port of Calais.

All Cross-Channel ferry services between the two ports were suspended on Friday following a 24-hour walkout by the CFDT union over proposed job cuts.

SeaFrance staff have been stopping ships entering or leaving the port.

P&O Ferries also suspended crossings after three of its ships from Dover were stopped from docking at Calais.

Operation Stack, where lorries waiting to cross the Channel park up between junctions 8 and 9 of the M20, was implemented by Kent Police on Friday, and is expected to remain in force until Saturday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a contracted worker with the State and I was thinking that a wholesale refusal to pay Social Security might change a few things. This shows the power of the people in France. I wonder if Obama is going to send troops in.