RMT calls for talks to end the crisis on Scotland’s ferries

RMT calls for talks to end the crisis on Scotland’s ferries

2 May 2023

RMT Press Office:

SCOTLAND’S biggest ferry union RMT has written to Kevin Stewart MSP, the new Transport Minister in the Scottish government, to demand an urgent meeting over the increasingly fragile resilience of ferry services following the latest safety incident involving anti-union company Pentland Ferries.

The vessel MV Pentalina grounded off the Orkney Islands over the weekend and experienced an engine room fire. All 60 passengers and some crew members were safely transferred to RNLI vessels. 

The vessel was brought back into service in the Pentland Firth following the Scottish Government approved decision to time charter Pentland Ferries’ other vessel, the MV Alfred for £9 million to provide relief on specific Clyde and Hebrides routes.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that the Pentalina had a recent history of safety issues and the Alfred is subject to an ongoing Maritime Accident Investigation Branch investigation after it grounded off Swona in July last year, injuring six passengers.

“I pay tribute to the bravery and professionalism of the crew who successfully extinguished the engine room fire and returned the beleaguered vessel to port at St. Margaret’s Hope.

“The root causes of these incidents remain the Ferguson Marine fiasco and the complete lack of a coherent ferries plan. 

“We are now at a stage where the Northern Isles as well as the island communities and local economies in the west of Scotland are forced to live with the restricted capacity on their ferry services just as the summer timetables hit full swing. 

“RMT is committed to working to resolve these issues, which are affecting our 1,200 members at Pentland Ferries, CalMac Ferries and NorthLink to an intolerable extent. 

“We ask that you meet with RMT officials, as a matter of urgency to discuss how we resolve this crisis,” he said.


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Tagged with: RMT, Mick Lynch, MV Pentalina, Pentland Ferries, CalMac, SNP