CalMac ferry strike begins
Strike action at public company means three days of ferry disruption across west coast
Crews on vessels run by publicly owned Caledonian McBrayne have begun three days of industrial action after the company's routes have been opened to competitive tender.
Staff want reassurances about the security of their jobs, pay and pensions. Ninety per cent of RMT union members, who represent half of the company's workforce, voted in favour of strike action, which will comprise of two days of an overtime ban followed by a full strike on Friday.
Ministers spoke to the RMT union yesterday afternoon in an attempt to urge them to call off the action and return to talks, which broke down on Monday.
Transport Minister Derek Mackay said pension would be protected under any tendered contract.
"EU law requires the Scottish Government to tender ferry services. This was accepted by previous Governments when it initiated the first tendering exercise for CHFS, it is therefore regrettable that some are seeking to use the current situation to score political points," he said.
Scottish Labour’s Shadow Transport and Islands Minister David Stewart said: “Instead of dancing on the head of a pin about how they define privatisation, the SNP should back Labour’s call for this vital ferry service to remain in public hands. When Serco was handed the Northern Isles service, routes were cut and staff sacked. It was a disaster, but it appears the SNP Government hasn’t learned the lessons of the past."
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