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Ferry bosses "treat staff with contempt" over 25% pay cuts

23 April 2013

Peace talks aimed at avoiding a dispute at Caledonian MacBrayne broke down today with a union leader accusing bosses of "treating staff with contempt".

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA union fighting a proposed 25% wage cut at the ferry company, said: "It beggars belief that Managing Director Martin Dorchester should not even bother to attend the talks when he is planning wage cuts of as much as £6,000 a year for our members. I am now inviting him to meet me face to face at our Glasgow annual conference in three weeks time in an effort to resolve this dispute peacefully.
 
"If he continues his hard line stand, we will be looking to enforce our executive decision on calling a strike ballot after that conference. He is treating his hard working staff with contempt."
 
At today's talks, management refused to withdraw their plans to cut anti social hours payments and an increase in the working week from 38 to 40 hours. The union's Scottish officer Tom Kennedy will now seek urgent talks with Transport Secretary Keith Brown asking him to intervene with the state owned ferry company. The union has already won the backing of the Scottish TUC and Scottish Labour Party in the dispute which affects 90 white collar staff at the company.
 
Mr Kennedy added: "The government cannot sit idly by while a company tries to impose such huge cuts in living standards on workers in some of our most remote communities."

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