Scottish Ferry Workers in Double Strike Action

The UK shipping union RMT confirmed that unionised workers of Scotland’s Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) and Argyll Ferries will be taking separate industrial actions on Friday, July 10.

The dispute with Argyll Ferries is similar to the one on CalMac’s ferry operations, with the union demanding no compulsory redundancies and no changes to staffing levels unless previously agreed with unions.

RMT is also asking for all changes to workers’ conditions of service to be first discussed with, and agreed upon by unions, as well as a guarantee that all members will remain in the current pension scheme and that no changes will be made to the scheme without agreement being reached with unions.

”Argyll Ferries have refused to comply with these very simple and basic requirements and as a result the union has no option but to move to industrial action,” according to RMT.

Unionised workers at CalMac decided to continue their industrial action after their dispute with the state-owned ferry operator remained unresolved.

”Despite the most strenuous efforts to negotiate a settlement on CalMac we are still not getting the clear assurances that we seek that will defend the safety-critical jobs and working conditions that go hand in hand with delivering safe and efficient lifeline ferry services to the communities that we serve,” RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said.

”It is a cold hard fact that privatisation is all about a race to the bottom in order to maximise profits and our members will not sit back while they are caught in the crossfire of the tendering process. Our members on Argyll Ferries now find themselves staring down the barrel of exactly those same kind of attacks on jobs and working conditions and have delivered a massive and rock-solid mandate for action.”

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