Company refuses to meet union to discuss sell-off concerns


RMT members working for Caledonian MacBrayne Scottish Ferries are to be balloted for strike action after the company failed to give them assurances in advance of the planned sell-off of key routes.

Transport Scotland has identified five CalMac routes for privatisation – Ardrossan-Bodick, Wemyss Bay-Rothesay, Oban-Craignure, Largs-Cumbrae and Pentland-Firth – but Caledonian MacBrayne has refused to meet to discuss staff concerns.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “We have given Caledonian MacBrayne the best part of two months to give us the most basic assurances on pensions, working conditions and bargaining rights and they have dragged this out to the point where we are left with no option but to ballot for strike action and we are confident that our members will deliver a resounding mandate as they fight to protect their rights, their working conditions and their futures.

“The carve up of the Scottish Ferries services for private profit continues apace under the SNP administration regardless of the impact on jobs, services and fares and with CalMac routes next on the block we are not going to sit back and wait for another stitch-up. RMT has proved through the successful agreements with SERCO on the Northern Isles routes only this week that where the workforce stands strong and united we can protect jobs and working conditions.

“RMT will take whatever action is required to protect our members working conditions and their pension rights as the vultures hover to bleed these lifeline ferry services for every penny they can extract.”

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