Northern Isles ferry operator to axe 36 jobs
The new operator of the lifeline ferry service to the Northern Isles is planning to axe up to to 36 jobs.
• Serco Northlink Ferries have announced they plan to cut up to 36 jobs
• The company have also announced plans to cut the number of sailings from Caithness to Orkney
Serco NorthLink Ferries, which took over the passenger and freight routes between Aberdeen, Shetland and Orkney in the summer, has announced that the company has begun talks on the proposed cuts with both staff and unions.
Stuart Garrett, the managing director of Serco NorthLink Ferries, said: “Today Serco began formal consultation with seafaring staff and unions on its NorthLink Ferries contract, with a view to reducing staffing levels by up to 36 jobs.
“We plan to adopt flexible crewing levels allowing us to tailor staffing levels to passenger numbers. This is a common procedure with nearly every other commercial ferry operator in the UK.”
He continued: “Safety will not be compromised; the staffing arrangements we propose continue to exceed the crew to passenger ratio required for our vessels by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The consultation with staff will look at all available options. We are hoping to achieve these changes without the need for compulsory redundancies.”
A spokesman for the RMT union said: “Our aim will be to save as many of those jobs as possible. We have got to sit down and discuss this first and it is not cut and dried as people might think.”
Earlier this week the ferry company also announced plans to cut the number of sailings across the Pentland Firth from Scrabster in Caithness to Orkney from three to two a day during the off peak season.
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