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CalMac union RMT has today ramped up the pressure on the company to enter ACAS talks over the current pay dispute and to get serious about reaching a negotiated settlement that properly recognises and rewards the staff operating the lifeline ferry services.
Scotland’s biggest Ferry Union RMT were contacted by the arbitration and conciliation service ACAS following media reports of a trade dispute between the union and CalMac Ferries.
In an attempt to find a satisfactory solution to the dispute RMT immediately accepted this approach from ACAS. Unfortunately CalMac have rejected the services of ACAS and seem determined to stick with their intransigent position of refusing to recognise that their hard working loyal staff deserve an acceptable pay offer in recognition of their risking their own health and safety during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep Scotland’s west coast island communities supplied with essential goods.
It appears the company are holding a financial line as instructed by the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘It’s extremely disappointing and unfortunate that CalMac will not engage in a meaningful and productive manner to find a mutually agreeable solution to this dispute.
‘I have informed the company that my union remains available for talks to avert any dispute and despite this they rejected the offer from ACAS to get involved and work with all parties to lift the potential of a dispute that would be damaging to the local economy and bring unnecessary additional stress and pressure to the islanders.
‘I would urge the senior management at CalMac to get back round the negotiating table in an honest attempt to reach a settlement. If this means they need to make the justifiable case to the Scottish Government to reach agreement on a fair and reasonable pay award for their workforce then they need to get on and do exactly that.’