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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Marseilles Fos dispute settled

THE management at France's Marseilles Fos port and the CGT trade union have reached an agreement on the transfer of port authority dockers based at Mourepiane container terminal, in the Marseilles harbour area, to the private stevedoring company Intramar. The deal brings to an end several weeks of labour disruption at the Mourepiane terminal, which mainly handles intra-Mediterranean trades. The transfer of cargo handling to private operators was a key requirement of French port reform law passed in July last year, which prompted the post-reform strategy adopted by Marseilles Fos in April. Under the agreement reached yesterday, 28 July, the port authority has pledged to support container activity in the Marseilles harbour by taking a “minority but significant” stake in Intramar. The authority says that the agreement improves on the national framework for transfer arrangements and responds to concerns expressed by affected members of its workforce.