Union lobbies government after employer refuses to concede ground on staff transfers


RMT reps are next month to meet Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown in crucial talks aimed at solving a deepening crisis over proposals to set up key Scottish ferries routes for privatisation.

The confirmation of top level talks comes just a week after RMT announced that it is to begin the balloting process for strike action on Caledonian MacBrayne Scottish Ferries after the total failure to give assurances to staff in advance of the planned sell-off of key routes.

The union has set out clear and reasonable demands to Caledonian MacBrayne over the past two months:

  • That members’existing pension provisions will be protected and will continue unaffected.
  • That the current practice of one joint bargaining machinery will continue, regardless of whether the contract is unbundled or not.

Those assurances have still not been received by the union.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “We welcome the fact that the Minister has agreed to an early meeting with the union straight after the summer break aimed at resolving a deepening crisis on these key Scottish ferries routes. Our team will be aiming to make real progress with Keith Brown. The assurances we are seeking on pensions and bargaining machinery are simple and straightforward and no different to similar assurances we have negotiated on SERCO’s Northern Isles routes.

“Preparations for the ballot of CalMac staff continue and we are sure now that no one is in any doubt that RMT will take whatever action is necessary to protect our members jobs, pensions, working conditions and negotiating rights on the Scottish ferries routes whatever threats are thrown at us.”



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