CalMac dispute resolved

The Hebrides alongside Lochmaddy Pier. SGD. 22226
The Hebrides alongside Lochmaddy Pier. SGD. 22226

Following the Scottish Government announcement that CalMac will remain engaged on the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service for a further three years, RMT General Secretary Bob Crow had written to members.

He said of the announcement: “This means that there will be no change to your terms and conditions, pensions or any collective arrangements and the dispute situation between RMT and CalMac is now resolved.”

He continued: “During discussions with the Scottish Government over this issue, RMT also received the assurance that the CalMac routes will not be unbundled in any future tender which provides some protection from any privatisation of the routes.

“RMT also received assurances that the Scottish Government is committed to protecting your pensions and to negotiations with the Union over any other issues affecting the workforce in the future.

“The above victories have been won due to the strength and solidarity of you and your colleagues returning a huge mandate in favour of taking strike action in defence of your pensions and terms and conditions.”

He added: “The next stage is that the tender process for the Clyde & Hebrides Ferry Services will being in autumn 2014 with the new contract effective from 2016.

“This delay will give us time to review the new tender documents and I can assure you that if the required protections are not in place then your Union will not hesitate to declare a further dispute situation.

“It is of course still the Union’s ultimate goal to see an end to the non-stop tendering of lifeline services and I will keep you advised of all developments.”

A CalMac spokesman said: “We welcome the resolution of the dispute and look forward to working with the RMT and other partners to prepare the company for a successful bid for the next CHFS contract in 2016.”