The Channel Tunnel reopens “tonight” after the end of a strike by Getlink employees

An unexpected strike action by employees of Getlink, the company managing the Channel Tunnel, caused the closure of the work for several hours on Thursday, December 21

The Channel Tunnel reopens “tonight” after the end of a strike by Getlink employees

An unexpected strike action by employees of Getlink, the company managing the Channel Tunnel, caused the closure of the work for several hours on Thursday, December 21. At the beginning of the evening, the unions announced the end of this strike, leading to the reopening “tonight” of the tunnel. “If the company's employees are returning to their jobs, it is because the negotiations that we fiercely conducted during the day with general management brought results that satisfy us,” explained the Force Ouvrière delegate. Franck Herent, in front of the group's headquarters in Coquelles, in Pas-de-Calais, where employees were gathered.

All Eurostar trains traveling through the tunnel as well as shuttles carrying cars and trucks had been blocked all afternoon, as the first departures began for the holidays. In a statement, Eurostar said that “during the day, thirty Eurostar trains were canceled departing from London, Paris or Brussels.” The strike, called by French unions, led to “the complete interruption of service and the closure of our terminals in France and the United Kingdom,” Getlink – the parent company of Eurotunnel – reported in a press release.

Passenger panic

“The union organizations rejected the exceptional bonus of 1,000 euros announced at the end of the year by management and called for a strike to demand a tripling of it,” management continued in its text. “This strong mobilization is not a surprise”, underlined for its part the inter-union, bringing together the six Eurotunnel unions (FO, CGT, SUD-Rail, CFE-CGC, CFDT and SACDC), in a press release. “For several months, all union organizations combined have alerted general management to the terrible deterioration of the social climate,” she wrote. A few minutes after the strike was announced, the Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, judged on

The announcement of the cancellation of afternoon trains to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam from St Pancras station in London caused panic among passengers. The reception and security officers at the station – who seemed equally caught off guard – even had to remove passengers who had already passed security checks and were waiting on the platform.

The many travelers who planned to return to France or Belgium for the holidays tried to change their ticket for the next day, or to quickly book one of the flights still available from the British capital.