Union hails ‘massive victory’ on ferry tendering

The RMT trade union says Scottish ministers’ decision to push back the next Clyde and Hebrides ferry contract is “a massive victory in the fight to defend Scottish ferry services”.

Transport minister Keith Brown announced on Wednesday that the Scottish Government had decided to award a three-year contract extension to the current operator, CalMac Ferries Ltd, until 2017, and that the next contract, when awarded, would be for the entire network.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “The confirmation today of the three year delay on the CalMac tendering is a massive victory for the RMT campaign against privatisation and in defence of jobs and working conditions.

“It is also a massive victory for the users of these lifeline services. There is no question that our campaign of political and public pressure, alongside a massive mandate for strike action from our members, has helped force the pace on this momentous decision.

“There is now no excuse for Ministers’ not to sign off the long term assurances on pensions and workplace rights and conditions that are still outstanding and which remain at the heart of our current dispute.

“RMT will also continue to campaign for the expensive and disruptive tendering of services to be scrapped for good so that we can all focus on the delivery of these essential lifeline services long into the future.”