RMT members to vote on whether to take industrial action over job cuts

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RMT members working on SERCO Northern Isles ferry services in Scotland are to ballot for industrial action after the company reneged on previous commitments, ripped up normal consultation procedures and announced it is to press on with a programme of cuts to jobs and services.

The balloting timetable will be concluded over three and a half weeks with ballot papers going out in the first week of November and a result expected in early December, allowing any action to take place over the December/January period.

Despite extensive meetings between SERCO and RMT negotiators over possible restructuring, SERCO have now abandoned any pretence of negotiation and RMT has received a copy of the Company’s letter of formal intention from Director level confirming plans to slash jobs with the threat of compulsory redundancies

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “SERCO are fully aware that we will not accept attacks on our members jobs and conditions and what is now an all-out attempt to bulldoze through compulsory redundancies, cuts to core staffing numbers the casualisation of these skilled shipping grades. We have no option now but to ballot in the face of this deliberately provocative action and the threat to our members future livelihoods. We intend to conclude our ballot well in time for Christmas.”

RMT National Secretary Steve Todd said: “RMT will not stand back while staff caught in the middle of this botched privatisation stitch-up on the Northern Isles routes are threatened with the sack in the dash to maximise SERCO’s profits. The public will understand that it is our members jobs today and will be cuts to services and increases to fares tomorrow. SERCO should withdraw this threat immediately and take up the offer of resuming talks through the proper consultation procedure as a way of resolving this dispute.”


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