econostrum.info : Why are you fighting against Véolia Transdev's proposed withdrawal from the SNCM?
Maurice Perrin: We can understand that Véolia Transdev might want to withdraw from the SNCM, but not in 2013, the year of the preparation for the future Public Services Outsourcing. Véolia Transdev cannot withdraw from the SNCM without taking into account the position of the two other shareholders, i.e. the government and the employee representatives. The government, which holds 25% via the CGMF, has the power to block this operation.
In our view, the transfer of the shares to the share capital of Véolia Environnement (editor's note: sale of Véolia Transdev's shares to its parent company) means liquidation. Véolia does not hide its desire to resize the company to just four mixed cargo and passenger vessels. Véolia Environnement representatives have made it very clear that they could stop the Nice, Toulon and Maghreb lines. They may not have put this in writing, but they have not hidden it either.
In a management report on the SNCM, Véolia states that the company represents a financial risk of 275 m€ in the event that it is obliged to repay government subsidies. Véolia has exaggerated the risk in its publicity. Véolia emphasizes the deficit.
What is the climate within the company?
M.P: In March 2012, the SNCM's management proposed to sell it for 1 €. That caused us considerable damage and talks did not begin again until July 2012.
Renewal of six ships and a voluntary redundancy programme
What is the plan regarding the renewal of the SNCM's fleet?
M.P: The 2006-2010 corporate plan, which was voted by the personnel, stipulated the renewal of the fleet at the rate of one ship every two and a half years. Over that period, only the Monte Cinto was replaced by the Jean Nicoli in 2009.
From a full renewal programme, we went to the replacement of eight ships and then six.
Finally, we learned that a plan had been approved by the strategy committee subject to three conditions: finding funding, a Public Services Outsourcing that meets the objectives of the programme and a social covenant. The programme also includes a voluntary redundancy scheme for 200 office staff and productivity gains to be achieved among the ships' crews.