Scotland's biggest union, Unite, today (Thursday 19 May) hailed the decision to award the contract to provide ferry services to the western isles to CalMac as a victory for passengers, the workforce and a magnificent public service.
Welcoming today's announcement in the Scottish parliament confirming that CalMac is the service provider, Pat Rafferty Unite Scottish secretary said: “The decision to award the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) contract to CalMac is a win for common sense and a win for our island communities.
“To the communities they serve, these ferries are not only a transport link they are the arteries that keep Scotland’s islands alive.
“The CalMac bid was rooted in the needs of island communities, their sustainability and survival and was not based on blatant profiteering.
“Unite would wish to praise the tenacity of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) as well as the work of the shop stewards who refused to consider CalMac as anything but the operator of choice for this contract.
“The decision reached today is the right one. Right for the communities served by the ferries and right for the dedicated workforce serving on these ferries.
“The Scottish people expect this magnificent service to be kept in safe-keeping and run as a trusted public service. Thankfully, the Scottish government has listened to the calls from passengers who rely on this service, the workers serving on them and the communities that rely on them.
“CalMac is as much part of our island heritage as the communities themselves and everyone’s best interests have been served by this decision today.
“This should now be the end of wasteful and costly tendering for this contract which is completely unnecessary for this vital public service.”
Unite had joined forces with sister unions to campaign for CalMac to retain the ferry contract and protect members terms, conditions and pensions.
For further information please contact Unite press office on 020 3371 2065
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.