SNP also under fire for “stitching up” private pensions deal with Serco


RMT members are planning to ballot for industrial action on the Northern Isles Ferries service over pensions.

The news comes after it emerged that private outfit SERCO, who have been lined up by the SNP government to take over from the public Northlink operation, is planning to renege on existing pension commitments to staff who will transfer over and offer a vastly inferior alternative that would leave members facing poverty in retirement.

RMT has also turned its attack on SNP ministers behind the move to sell-off the lifeline Northlink routes to SERCO, in a deal worth almost £250 million, for “totally ignoring their duty of care to loyal and committed staff caught in the cross-fire of this privatisation deal.”

As well as the attack on pensions, SERCO has also announced possible job losses, cuts to services, zero hours contracts and flexible working as they look at ways of squeezing the contract for every penny they can extract.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “This whole botched privatisation plan has descended into chaos with SERCO now looking to rip up long-standing pension commitments to the staff who deliver these life-line services. RMT always said that this deal was about maximising profits at the expense of services, fares and the workforce and our fears are proved well-founded by this pensions scandal.”

RMT national secretary Steve Todd said: “RMT will not stand back while staff caught in the middle of this ill-conceived privatisation stitch-up are kicked from pillar to post and we have no intention of letting the SNP political masters behind this sell-off wriggle off the hook either. They cooked up this scheme and they cannot wash their hands now that the reality of what it means is starting to become clear to staff and ferry users alike.”

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