RMT suspends CalMac and Argyll Ferries strike action

8 July 2015 (Last Updated July 8th, 2015 18:30)

UK maritime union RMT has suspended the planned CalMac and Argyll Ferries strike action after the Scottish Government delayed the tendering process.

Argyll Ferries

UK maritime union RMT has suspended the planned CalMac and Argyll Ferries strike action after the Scottish Government delayed the tendering process.

Recently, union members in both ferries opted to hold a strike on 10 July after a nearly 95% voted in favour of action.

According to RMT general secretary Mick Cash, the tendering process has been delayed to allow further negotiation on the key issues of jobs, staffing, conditions and pensions.

The Scottish Government has agreed to postpone the publication of the draft invitation to tender until the end of this month.

A letter from Mick Cash stated: "This suspension is to allow detailed discussions with all parties regarding the modest demands made by RMT around no compulsory redundancies, staffing levels, protection of terms and conditions and pensions."

As a result of this new development, the union has instructed all members to work normally on Friday.

"This suspension is to allow detailed discussions with all parties regarding the modest demands made by RMT around no compulsory redundancies, staffing levels, protection of terms and conditions and pensions."

Cash also added that a timetable has been agreed for these discussions which must be concluded by 24 July.

The Scottish Government-run CalMac Ferries operates 27 Clyde and Hebrides ferry service routes.

The service term expires next year and the government has requested tenders for the contract, in accordance with European guidelines.

In response to this announcement, RMT earlier argued that a new contract would be likely to include changes to employees’ current terms and conditions.

Meanwhile, Argyll Ferries previously refused to address RMT’s demands relating to job security, pensions, and the conditions of service.


Image: The Scottish Government has agreed to delay the tendering process for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) until the end of the month. Photo: courtesy of RMT.