Members of the RMT union working for Caledonian MacBrayne have voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pensions and working conditions.
In a statement on Wednesday afternoon the union announcd that a ballot on industrial action had returned a nine to one vote in favour, although no indication of turnout was given.
The vote comes after first minister Alex Salmond and transport minister Keith Brown gave assurances last week that the west coast ferry network would not be ‘unbundled’ when the next Clyde and Hebrides service contract is tendered.
In its statement the RMT said it was “still waiting for further confirmation on the pensions and workplace rights issues at the heart of the on-going dispute”.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “This massive vote for action shows that RMT members are determined to stand united in the fight to defend their pensions and workplace rights on the CalMac services.
“The result will now be considered by the RMT executive and we hope that the company and the ministers will now seize this opportunity to give us the very simple and straightforward assurances we are seeking.”