Shetland and Orkney ferry services could be hit by strike over festive season
FERRY passengers travelling to and from Orkney and Shetland over the festive season are threatened with disruption after the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) announced a strike ballot over jobs at Serco NorthLink.
The RMT claims posts are under threat from cuts by the operator, which took over the ferry routes in July from NorthLink, which is part of the Scottish Government-owned firm which runs CalMac.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “Serco are fully aware that we will not accept attacks on our members’ jobs and conditions and what is now an all-out attempt to bulldoze through compulsory redundancies, cuts to core staffing numbers, the casualisation of these skilled shipping grades.
“We have no option now but to ballot in the face of this deliberately provocative action and the threat to our members’ future livelihoods. We intend to conclude our ballot well in time for Christmas.”
Stuart Garrett, Managing Director at Serco NorthLink, said: “We are disappointed with the RMT’s decision to ballot and will work closely with staff and unions to avoid industrial action.
“As announced two weeks ago Serco NorthLink is in the process of consulting with all seafaring staff and unions with a view to reducing staffing levels to allow us to tailor crew numbers to passenger numbers. We are hoping to achieve these changes through voluntary redundancies.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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