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Friday 15 December 2017

Fears for 80 jobs as ferry sailings cut

Allison Bray

ALMOST 80 jobs are at risk after a ferry company slashed sailings on a major route which has lost €37m over the last five years.

Talks on saving jobs at the Stena Line HSS Dun Laoghaire- Holyhead ferry route will begin today after the company said it will now only operate the service during the summer.

Union and company officials will begin negotiating the fate of 77 jobs at the Dun Laoghaire base after the shock announcement.

The ferry company has been running a daily return crossing from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead since 1996, with the exception of a winter "lay-by" between January and March.

But massive losses of more than €37m over the past five years due to increased costs means the year-round service is no longer sustainable, according to spokesman Eamon Hewitt.

"We would love to run it year round but the route has lost £33m over the past five years," he told the Irish Independent.

The fast-craft route, currently serviced by the HSS Stena Explorer, will cease as of September 13 and will not resume until next April when it will only operate seasonally through to the following September.

All 53 crew members and 24 administration staff based at its ferry terminal in Dun Laoghaire will be affected, Mr Hewitt said.

The company is to meet with officials from SIPTU and other trade unions this afternoon to begin a 30-day consultation period over the workers' future.

Irish Independent

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