15 November 2023
RMT Press Office:
Scottish Ferries union RMT, has called on the SNP government in Scotland to award Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) contract directly to publicly owned operator Calmac.
Ahead of a decision due tomorrow on whether the ferry service will be put out to competitive tender or awarded to Calmac, RMT called on the Scottish government to make sure the ferry service stays in public hands for the long term.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch said: “The Scottish government needs to show real leadership and directly award the next contract for Clyde and Hebrides ferry services to the current operator, Scotland’s public sector ferry company CalMac.
"This would be in line with the Scottish Government’s own policy preference and with the recommendations of the cross-party MSPs on the Net Zero, Energy & Transport Committee.
"Opening up this £1bn lifeline ferry contract to an expensive and wasteful tendering process, would be dreadful for CalMac workers and passengers.
"Tendering would create even more uncertainty in the 10 months left of the current contract, further destabilise the delivery of new ferries and harbour upgrades and encourage P&O style private operators to bid for this essential public transport contract.
"RMT we will never accept privateers being rewarded at the expense of our Calmac members.”
- RMT organise hundreds of seafarers and shore side staff at CalMac Ferries.
- In June the NZET Committee of the Scottish Parliament recommended that CalMac be directly awarded the next contract for Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services.
- The NZET Committee noted that the Scottish Government’s preference is for a direct award of the next CHFS.