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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 October 2005, 17:57 GMT
MP 'expects Hoverspeed to leave'
Hoverspeed Sea Cat ferry
Hoverspeed employs 102 staff in Dover and about 60 more in Europe
There are fears that cross-Channel ferry operator Hoverspeed is going to pull out of Dover in Kent, according to the town's MP.

Dover MP Gywn Prosser said he and union officials believe Hoverspeed will make the announcement on Monday.

Mr Prosser said Hoverspeed are not taking phone bookings after 31 October.

It would follow the company's month long consultation with staff but Hoverspeed has refused to confirm if a statement will be released.

'Refusing to speak'

Mr Prosser said staff had not been kept informed and had been treated in a "disgraceful way".

"I've been told the whole lot could collapse today and there's no notice still as to the future of those people who have been made redundant and those people who have been kept on for the time being," he said.

"The company is still refusing to speak to the relevant trade unions over this matter and it really is a disgraceful way to treat people."

Hoverspeed runs two Seacat fast ferries between Dover and Calais, employing 102 staff in Kent and about 60 in Europe.

The company is owned by Sea Containers, which has so far only said it wants to introduce "fundamental changes" and would not comment further until the end of a 30-day consultation period, which began at the beginning of October.

During that time it said it would be discussing the position with staff on both sides of the Channel.

Hoverspeed scrapped its Newhaven to Dieppe route earlier this year and also ended its service from Dover to Ostend in Belgium.

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