The Metal Maritime union and DFDS have agreed on a negotiated solution for most employees on the two Oslo ferries. The agreement ensures that the ferries can continue to operate on this route, in spite of the Norwegian quarantine rules causing a decrease in passenger numbers. Regretfully, 26 servers will be redundant.
Covid-19 has had a severe impact on DFDS’ Copenhagen-Oslo and Frederikshavn-Oslo routes. Changing Danish and Norwegian entry restrictions have caused the number of passengers to fluctuate and fall. Most recently, a 14-day quarantine requirement for people entering Norway from Denmark’s capital region made the number of passengers plummet.
Now DFDS and the Danish trade union Metal Maritime have entered into an agreement about shorter turns on board and a pay reduction of 17,5% over a four-month period for their members on board. This group makes up the majority of the crew on the two ships on the routes, Pearl Seaways and Crown Seaways.
“It is a very important agreement for the ferries. It helps us reduce costs and keep Pearl and Crown in operation over the next difficult months, securing jobs and travel opportunities to Norway under unparalleled difficult conditions,” says Kasper Moos, Vice President & Head of Business Unit Short Routes and Passenger at DFDS.
“Unfortunately, a number of conditions differ for the servers on board, and it has therefore not been possible to enter into a similar agreement with their union 3F. We are sad to say that this means that we have to say goodbye to 26 of the 68 servers on the route,” says Kasper Moos.
“Even though the agreement means that we can keep the route operating and secure a lot of jobs on board and on land, we must recognise that it comes with a price. We are very sorry to have to say goodbye to 26 crew members who have put great efforts into securing the service and the route through a very difficult period. On the other hand, we are grateful that we have been able to find a solution with Metal Maritime that means we gain extra time until the situation hopefully can take a turn for the better,” says Kasper Moos.
Following the temporary route closure from 15 March to 25 June, the route was reopened with a new sailing structure. This meant that the ships also docked in Frederikshavn en route between Denmark and Norway, so that the ships also served the Frederikshavn-Oslo route. And with a stronger focus on passengers with transport needs and freight customers, the reopening took place with a significantly reduced crew.
“This strategy has greatly helped to keep the ships sailing, and with the latest agreement with Metal Maritime, we have been able to find a joint solution to a big challenge – we are proud of this at DFDS,” says Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel, Chief People Officer.
September 9, 2020