People's CalMac

People's CalMac

A People’s CalMac - Publicly owned Lifeline Ferry Services that Work for Everyone

Join the RMT’s campaign for affordable, reliable and quality lifeline ferry services in the west of Scotland.

The People’s CalMac campaign aims:

  • Direct Award to CalMac Ferries – communities and passengers before profit. 
  • More investment – for reliable, frequent and extra lifeline ferry services.
  • More affordable – fairer ferry fares, including commercial freight.
  • More of a say – with a stronger voice for communities, passengers and workers.
  • More good jobs – more CalMac apprenticeships and preservation of trade union. agreements which have delivered industry leading terms and conditions of employment.

CalMac Ferries is a national asset, employing nearly 2,000 skilled seafarer, port, clerical and Head Office staff to deliver lifeline services on 29 routes, operating 34 publicly owned ferries from nearly 50 harbours on the Clyde and Hebrides network. 

The average of the CalMac fleet is 26 years and cash starved local authorities own nearly half the harbours on the CHFS network. The Scottish Government’s vessel and port procurement failures have inflicted a destabilising loss of resilience and capacity over the last six years which is jeopardising the future of public lifeline ferries. 

Like their passengers, RMT members at CalMac know full well that privatisation would destroy the stability, quality, safety and employment standards integral to lifeline public transport services. 

CalMac’s current contract expires on 30 September this year. RMT’s policy is for permanent direct award of the next contract to CalMac. Direct award is the SNP Government’s preferred option, and we welcome Scottish Labour’s public support for direct award of the CHFS3 contract to CalMac, to protect public sector jobs, training, services and conditions from an expensive tendering process that would encourage the likes of P&O Ferries and Serco to bid for a £1bn+ lifeline public sector contract.

RMT is on a campaign footing to protect our members’ jobs and terms and conditions at CalMac and we welcome public support from passenger groups, local businesses and the trade union movement. 

The union is also holding a series of public meetings across the CHFS network, starting in Oban on 14th March. 

Oban, 1930, Thursday 14 March, Kelvin Hotel Oban Shore Street, Oban, PA34 4LQ

PROVISIONAL SPEAKERS Gordon Martin, Cllr Willie Hume SNP (Oban South & the Isles, Lead on  Transport Lead), Jenni Minto MSP and Joe Reade (Chair – Dan Henderson).

Details for public meetings the RMT is holding in CalMac communities in the west of Scotland will be provided for the following locations:

Brodick (Arran) w/c 22nd April 2024

Barra (Outer Hebrides) May 2024 

STUC – People’s CalMac Fringe, Monday 15 April, Caird Hall Dundee 1730-1900



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