The Scottish government announced today that it has decided to "explore a direct award" of the next contract for Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services to CalMac.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This a step in the right direction for the Clyde and Hebrides contract and RMT welcome the decision to explore a direct award, in line with the recommendation of the cross-party Net Zero Energy and Transport Committee.
"A long term direct award would bring much-needed stability and certainty to workers and passengers on CalMac operated routes and protect public investment.
"We will be meeting the Transport Minister, Fiona Hyslop to argue that the next step should be a coherent and sustainable ferry plan underpinned by a permanently publicly owned People’s CalMac which has the confidence of ferry passengers, workers and communities alike.
"We will also express our strong opposition to any steps which would see the introduction of new privately operated ferry routes or services outside the operational control of CalMac.
“On the Northern Isles contract, we are disappointed that the Scottish Government is continuing with tendering and we will be campaigning for that contract to be awarded to a public sector operator too.”