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Cross-channel car shuttle operator Eurotunnel has warned of potential strikes in France this weekend.
French unions, which represent Eurotunnel workers, have called a walk-out to start on Saturday (August 27) in a dispute over pay.
According to a Eurotunnel spokesman, the unions have asked for an 8% pay rise.
“We’d already agreed a pay review for this year,” he said.
“August 27, 28 and 29 is the busiest year for returns from France, so it has been very carefully targeted to create the maximum impact.”
Eurotunnel remains in talks with the unions to try and avert the strike, said the spokesman, but is preparing contingency plans should it go ahead, including sending extra staff from the UK to France.
“We will be running a full service,” he said. “We don’t anticipate any difficulties. We will be running four to five trains per hour, back from France.
“We’re expecting something like 6,500 to 7,000 vehicles per day. It will be busy, but it would have been busy anyway, and with the steps we’re taking we think we’ve mitigated the effects of the strike action.”
However, as a precautionary measure Eurotunnel has stopped taking new bookings for journeys from France to the UK for the bank holiday weekend.
“To maintain the quality of service for those who’ve already got a booking, we’ve said we will take no more bookings for this weekend,” he said.
Bookings from the UK to France can still be made, and bookings from France to the UK can be made for travel from Tuesday (August 20) onwards.
Both Eurotunnel and Eurostar have said the industrial action will not affect Eurostar’s services, as while the rail operator uses Eurotunnel’s tracks to cross the channel, it does not use its terminals.