The RMT maritime union has written to ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne to demand that it assures there will be no worsening of pensions, pay and conditions for its workforce. The company will face a ballot for industrial action otherwise.
The RMT’s move follows the appearance of adverts seeking tenders for the Gourock-Dunoon ferry route on Friday of last week—the day after CalMac workers lobbied the Scottish parliament to shelve plans for the route’s sell-off. The letter demands guarantees that members transferred to a private employer will retain their current pay and conditions and that continuing and future pension rights will be unaffected by any change of employer.
“There is no way that this union will stand by and watch the conditions of our members at CalMac eroded as a result of privatisation,” said Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT.
“We know from the privatisation of the bus and rail industries that it will mean worse pay and conditions, casualisation, as well as dangerous fragmentation.
“RMT’s first duty is to protect the jobs and conditions of our members, and we have now written seeking assurance that there will be no worsening of the pensions, pay and conditions of current and future CalMac employees.”
He added, “If we do not receive that assurance within seven days, we will ballot our 600 CalMac members for industrial action and we will be in dispute with the company.”
The company had not responded by the Tuesday of this week and the union was set to call a ballot for action.