As a union prepares for a strike vote, ferry operator CalMac has defended its stance.
The RMT union of CalMac has increased pressure on the company to launch ACAS talks over the current pay dispute and “seriously” pursue a negotiated resolution that respects and rewards the workers who operate the critical ferry services properly.
Scotland’s main ferry union claims that, following media reports of a labor dispute between the union and CalMac, it was approached by arbitration and conciliation body ACAS.
“appear determined to stick to their intransigent position and refuse to acknowledge that their hard-working loyal employees deserve acceptable pay.”appear determined to stick to their intransigent position and refuse to acknowledge that their hard-working, loyal employees deserve acceptable pay.
‘Skinflint’: as frustration erupts over wage deal failure, CalMac threatens strike
Robbie Drummond, general manager of CalMac, said, “We have made a fair and reasonable offer to employees that reflects the cost of living. We remain open to dialogue with our four unions at any time.”
Wage negotiations broke down two weeks ago after the state-owned ferry company, despite reporting a pre-tax profit of 7.1 million pounds last year, declined to raise its bid.
The TSSA also rejected what it described as a 0.5 percent pay offer ‘derisory’.
“It is extremely disappointing and regrettable that Calmac will not engage in a meaningful and productive way to find an amicable solution to this dispute,” RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said.
I have told the company that my union remains eligible for any conflict avoidance negotiations. Nevertheless, the offer of ACAS to engage and collaborate with both parties to address the possibility of a conflict that would damage the local economy and bring further needless stress and strain to island residents has been refused.
“I would urge Calmac management to get back to the negotiating table and make an honest attempt to reach an agreement. If that means lobbying the Scottish Government to reach an agreement on a fair and reasonable wage for their workforce, then that’s what they need to do.”
CalMac has made two offerings to the unions, according to the TSSA.
The first was a 0.5 percent one-year bid . The second was a two-year deal in which in the first year employees would earn a 0.5 percent rise and in the second year a retail price inflation increase. According to the union, both offers were overwhelmingly rejected.