[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 17 March, 2005, 21:06 GMT
Ferry deal to go to RMT executive
A CalMac ferry
RMT chiefs will consider plans to call off CalMac strike action
Union representatives for Caledonian MacBrayne ferry workers are to put a recommendation to cancel a planned strike to their executive body.

The RMT officials called for next week's action to be suspended after talks with CalMac on Thursday.

Their idea will go before the RMT's full port committee and executive on Monday in a bid to allow further talks to take place between the two sides.

The strike was called for amid fears over plans to tender some services.

Shop stewards emerged from a five-hour meeting in Glasgow to say they had received assurances from CalMac about their member's futures.

The RMT executive will meet on Monday and I hope that we will then be in a position to suspend the industrial action scheduled for 23 March

During the meeting both sides agreed to suspend next Wednesday's planned 12-hour service stoppages.

An RMT spokesperson said: "The proposals now put in writing by the company, together with the indications given to CalMac by the transport minister over pensions, will be considered very seriously over the weekend.

"The RMT executive will meet on Monday and I hope that we will then be in a position to suspend the industrial action scheduled for 23 March."

CalMac said it was pleased with Thursday's decision and the Scottish Executive said the move was encouraging.

At the time, CalMac managing director Lawrie Sinclair said: "The meeting was very constructive and I am pleased that the RMT members are now going to have the opportunity to consider further the issues which have been discussed today.

"We look forward to hearing from the union as soon as possible with a positive outcome."

'Vital services'

Transport Minister Nicol Stephen added: "All our efforts over the next few weeks should be put into avoiding the need to tender these vital lifeline services."

About 400 CalMac ferry staff voted two-to-one in favour of strike action after a ballot on Monday.

They are worried the tender of west coast ferry routes, in line with European Union rules, could threaten the terms and conditions of their contracts and affect their pension schemes.

Transport Minister Nicol Stephen this week criticised the workers over their intention to strike and said they would only damage the communities they serve.

CalMac staff back strike action
14 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Unions make 'Alice' CalMac claim
08 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Talks on ferry strike break down
18 Feb 05 |  Scotland


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific