Our Ref: SH/14/5
12th December 2019

Dear Colleagues


As you will be aware the replacement vessel for the Superfast X on the Holyhead to Dublin route, the Stena Estrid, will become operational in January. For the past few months your union has been in talks with management to discuss the crewing model for the new vessel. It is your union’s aspiration that there should be at the bare minimum a 30 permanent OSS core crew on the new vessel. This would be in line with past requests for OSS manning on the Superfast X.

However, in negotiation Stena has proposed a crewing level of 23 permanent core crew and 7 permanent part time (PPT). Stena have advised that they had not met their profit targets, despite the fact the company are in the black, they are looking for more cost savings. The company has advised that there is going to be a position freeze on their Swedish fleet so no like for like replacements through natural wastage. The union’s negotiating team has questioned the need for profit targets and it is deeply disappointing that a company which is making a profit wants to include 7 PPT positions when the union has given and produced clear evidence that the annual hours are there for 30 permanent core crew OSS positions.

At the close of the most recent meeting with no agreement being reached, the Lead Officer rang Stena Line to request for another meeting to discuss this issue further. Disappointingly, management advised him that they did not require another meeting as the company are sticking with their crewing model proposals. Having discussed this matter, the union’s negotiating team is disappointed that Stena Line are unwilling to commit to the unions proposed crewing levels. Your Representatives also believe that Stena Line are treating their staff with contempt, by refusing to continue with talks over this very important matter.

Having considered this matter and having listened to the wishes of your negotiating team, the union’s National Executive Committee instructed me to prepare a ballot for industrial action. Accordingly, I have advised Stena Line that our organisations are now in dispute over this matter. You will receive your ballot papers in the coming weeks and I urge you to vote ‘yes’ for strike action and ‘yes’ for industrial action short of a strike.

Additionally, if there have been any changes to your job, your workplace location or your home address and contact details, please get in touch with us by contacting the national helpline on 0800 376 3706 or you can email

I trust this keeps you fully advised on the matter and I will, of course, inform you of any further developments should they arise.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary