RMT to Strike if Jobs for Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Workers Not Assured

The UK transport union RMT is ready to strike if ferry workers employed on the recently tendered Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) are not given ”cast iron assurances on jobs, conditions and pensions.” 

As World Maritime News previously reported, Scotland’s Ministry for Transport and Islands invited CalMac Ferries Limited and Serco Caledonian Ferries Limited to take part in the next stage of the tender for what RMT calls ”a multi billion pound” contract.

The invitation for both operators to submit a final tender is scheduled for December 2015, with a view to awarding the contract in May 2016. Once awarded, the contract could run for up to eight years.

RMT members have voted by well over 90% for action in a ballot that covers both strikes and action short of strikes. The union is preparing to announce plans for action this week.

“RMT members on CalMac rightly feel that they are caught in the crossfire of an unnecessary and damaging tendering battle that leaves jobs, conditions and pensions hanging by a thread,” said RMT General Secretary Mick Cash.

“No lessons appear to have been learnt from the fiasco of the Northern Ferries tendering or the Scotrail franchising that is now mired ‎in the controversy that has engulfed the winning company Abellio. RMT wants cast iron assurances and we want them now and we are prepar‎ed to engage in meaningful talks around that agenda as we prepare to announce a first phase of industrial action.”

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