Talks over union plan to ballot ferry workers for strike

Talks are to take place between the transport union and the Scottish Government after news that workers on the Cumbrae to Largs ferry are to be balloted for strike action over reports that the route might be among a number planned for privatisation.

The Evening Times reported last week(Thursday, August 2) that the Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) claimed CalMac had not given assurances that the workers' pensions and working conditions will be protected.

But government body Transport Scotland denied that the route and four others - Wemyss Bay to Rothesay, Ardrossan to Arran, Oban to Craignure and the Pentland Firth Line - will be sold off.

This week the RMT announced that it will meet Scottish Government transport minister Keith Brown on September 6.

The union has said it has "no choice but to move to a ballot of members" for a strike. RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "We are confident our members will deliver a resounding mandate as they fight to protect their rights, their working conditions and their futures."

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: "Claims we are planning to sell off these routes are simply untrue. The Scottish Government is committed to supporting our island and remote communities."

What do you think? Do you support the strikers or will they make island life harder? Do you think privatisation would make services more efficient, or make them worse? Have your say below!


Ross Goldie says

Calmac .. way overpriced , and very short evening hours service ..with too many bacon buttie breaks when it suits them ......plus they apparently cant operate in the dark..even with £75K of electronics in the wheelhouse ...  a la' this years power cuts  ... seamanship skills , no comment, how did they ever manage to find Cumbrae  30 (or 100 ) years ago ....its a joke ....  but  all of which  is killing the islands economy..... however the wee local charter boat 'Seren Las ' through www.cumbraemarine.com will still be running 24/7 and 365 days a year as per usual , as and when required, and totally unsubsidised by the taxpayer . The big difference .. we have to put the long hours in  to make a bit of a profit simply  to put a loaf on the table ....... Calmac and its employees dont ..the taxpayer/public  will most certainly provide once again ... its that simple .. but very wrong

best regards

Ross Goldie

M.V. Seren Las 01475 530743/07970 076737

www.cumbraemarine.com

   

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