Local News for Wednesday 2nd March 2016
Why we should keep CalMac – RMT
The transport union RMT has set out its case for keeping CalMac as the operator of the Clyde and Hebrides ferry routes, using data from a report they commissioned and launched yesterday in the Scottish Parliament. The union says the report makes a overwhelming case for keeping the operation of lifeline ferry services in the public sector. Among the reasons they gave were CalMac’s ‘efficient, innovative and strategic’ way of operating on the current contract, in which it has shared with the Scottish Government all the benefits of cost savings. By contrast they said that the report finds that Serco Group the owner of Serco Northlink has an ‘extremely troubled history’ and no significant experience in the maritime industry. Steve Todd, RMT National Secretary said: "Jeanette Findlay's report is a ringing endorsement of the vital role that CalMac's near 1,500 employees play in delivering an efficient, affordable and popular lifeline ferry service to Clyde and Hebridean communities. The report also justifies the Scottish Government's decision to invest hundreds of millions to 2022 in new vessels, IT, port and harbour infrastructure, maritime skills and passenger fares on this complex, 26-route network. Handing this jewel in the crown to Serco would be a scandalous betrayal of CalMac workers and passengers, not to mention the Scottish taxpayer."