New developments in the rescue of French ferry company SeaFrance, which has been in judicial settlement since June 2010: following the decision to reject the recapitalisation plan proposed to the French government by the European Commission, on 25 October 2011, the offer of a takeover by employees in the form of a workers' cooperative - a proposal that finally found the support of the French government - has turned the situation around. On 3 January, the Tribunal de commerce de Paris moved its investigation by one week to take into account this new situation, and SeaFrance's opponents are threatening to make another complaint for state aid that is incompatible with Community law.

The 880 employees of the maritime transporter received the unexpected support of the French state, which was until now reluctant to back a workers' cooperative defended by the local chapters of the company's majority trade union, the CFDT. On 3 January, French President Nicolas Sarkozy asked the SNCF - SeaFrance's parent company - to give them "an exceptional supra-legal indemnity [...] to allow them to take these funds to the workers' cooperative," he wrote in a letter to the SNCF. This involves the liquidation of the company and would allow to reach the necessary 50 million.

The French president asked the Ministries of Labour and Economy to "examine all the other aid mechanisms that could be mobilised for SeaFrance's redundant employees" and asked local authorities of the Nord/Pas-de-Calais to confirm the 12 million of aid that was promised.

This position contrasts with that of the Minister of Transport in charge of the...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT