Strike threat at CalMac Ferries in dispute over pay

A Caledonian MacBrayne Ferry

TSSA today (Tuesday) warned of the possibility of strike action in CalMac ferries after members overwhelmingly rejected a "Scrooge-like" 0.5% pay offer from the company.

Pay talks broke down today after CalMac refused to increase their offer despite posting a £7.1million profit last year.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, said “CalMac are behaving like Scrooge, offering what amounts to a pay cut just as people are thinking about Christmas.

“Last week the Managing Director, Robbie Drummond, sent a glossy postcard to every member of staff, thanking them for their “support, understanding and commitment” serving the island communities throughout the pandemic. Well talk is cheap and this week we’ve found out exactly how cheap Robbie Drummond’s talk really is.

“Clearly, 0.5% is a paltry offer to keyworkers who’ve kept the ferries running, bringing vital lifeline supplies to the island communities, in the middle of a global pandemic. Our members are absolutely right to reject that offer.

“Instead of wasting money on postcards CalMac should be inviting us back to the table and making a sensible pay offer. If they don’t we will not hesitate to ballot our members for strike action.”

- Ends
Notes to Editors
• CalMac made two offers to the unions. Offer One: a one year deal of 0.5%. Offer Two: a two year deal, Year One 0.5%, Year Two a pay rise of RPI. Both offers were rejected overwhelmingly.
• CalMac is claiming they cannot afford a larger payrise but have failed to provide us with costings to prove this, despite our repeatedly asking for them. When asked, they did not explain why they thought they could afford RPI next year if they were genuinely unable to afford it this year, stating “we’re willing to take a gamble”.
• A 0.5% payrise across all staff in the company amounts to £450thousand. CalMac made £7.1million last year.

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