Calmac Ferries statement 

My opinion on the ongoing Calmac Ferries potential privatisation and industrial reaction……written on my phone so apologies for the grammar, it’s normally good 👀

SNP Council leader calls meeting of Clyde Ferry Users Group to discuss ongoing Calmac job concerns 

The Leader of the SNP in Inverclyde and chair of the Clyde Ferry users group has today called a meeting of the group to discuss ongoing concerns over locally based CalMac ferries. 
Cllr Christopher McEleny who’s Gourock constituency is home to the Headquarters of the company will chair a meeting of the group in July. The local SNP Leader who has  spoken to staff who are impacted by industrial action and the ongoing tendering process of the CHFS ( Clyde and Hebrides Ferry service) also stated that workers terms and conditions must be protected regardless of the outcome. 
Commenting Cllr McEleny said: 
” there are 2 issues at hand. Firstly there must be the recognition that Cal Mac staff have an absolute right to take strike action over concerns that their terms and conditions will be eroded with a potential privatisation of the contract. It might be easy for people to look in from the outside and not understand the reasons behind the action as staff have better terms and conditions than they do. However we must reject this view. I have an unwavering view that terms & conditions should never be eroded in the workplace and only when we all support the end to this race to the bottom can we push for everyone’s working standards to be raised. Therefore I do welcome the transport minister Derek Mackay’s pledge that the Scottish Government will ensure that pensions of the CHFS workforce are protected. ” 
The Local SNP leader added that the current tendering process should be used as an opportunity but also criticised EU laws that required the process. Commenting McEleny said: 
” this process must be used to improve and strengthen the working conditions of all working on the Clyde and Hebrides ferry service. Furthermore every effort should be made to ensure that the workforce is at the forefront of decision making while this process is ongoing. 
” However the EU laws that have necessitated the current tendering process are completely flawed and don’t take into account the vital lifeline services that CalMac who are based here in Inverclyde carry out for communities that depend upon them across the Clyde and Hebrides routes. I will be making representations to my SNP MEP colleagues to campaign at the heart of Europe for a rethink of this regressive procurement policy which is damaging to both the workforce based here in Inverclyde and the communities across Scotland that rely on such services to survive. ” 
Finally Cllr McEleny who chairs the important Clyde Ferry Users Group spoke of the role the group has to play in highlighting concerns. Cllr McEleny added: 
” The second aspect of this situation is the threat of privatisation itself. I have requested a meeting of the Clyde ferry users group so that we can scrutinise the impact the potential privatisation will have on the service which is to be provided. This meeting will allow all relevant stake holders to get around the table to ensure the CHFS is fit for purpose.”

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