Bob Crow, leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, is calling on ferry workers in Scotland to vote on whether to commit to industrial action over working conditions and pensions. The move comes after Transport Scotland identified a number of ferry routes run by Caledonian MacBryde for privatisation.
Mr Crow said that the RMT had been attempting to get some basic guarantees for it members for nearly two months, but that Caledonian MacBryde had cancelled meetings and was trying to stall the situation.
The routes which have been earmarked for privatisation include the Pentland Firth link to Orkney, Largs to Cumbrae, Oban to Craignure, Wemyss Bay to Rothsay and Ardrossan to Brodick.
The RMT said that because a guarantee that pension provisions and employment conditions had not been given by the state owned ferry company the union had no other alternative than to ballot its members over possible strike action. He added that he was sure the ferry workers would vote in favour of protecting their livelihoods.
Mr Crow went on to say that under the SNP the ferry system in Scotland was being carved up for profit and that now Caledonian MacBryde was under threat it was time to make a stand. He explained that a successful agreement with Serco, the services and outsourcing firm, on routes to the Northern Isles this week proved that a united workforce was able to protect its working conditions and jobs.