Shipping Union RMT today announced that it has rejected a derisory pay offer and slammed managements complete contempt for the workforce in a long-running dispute over pay justice on Orkney Ferries. The union has warned that that arrogant and bullying attitude of the company could force an escalation of the current action.
Despite repeated attempts by union representatives to negotiate a settlement to the dispute, which currently involves action short of a strike by RMT members, the company has maintained its position of offering a pitiful increase that amounts to a substantial pay cut in real terms. That offer has now been overwhelmingly rejected by RMT members in a secret ballot.
Orkney Ferries provides an inter-island service on nine routes between Orkney and 13 island destinations.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“It is outrageous that Orkney Ferries have still failed to come up with a serious pay offer despite hours and hours of talks and despite the helpful intervention of ACAS in this dispute. They have now forced a stand-off through their sheer contempt towards their staff and the union will be discussing the next move which could, of course, include an escalation of the action in the busy summer months.
Steve Todd, RMT National Secretary, said:
“It is down to the company to recognise the anger and resentment that their stance has generated, reflected in this ballot result, and to agree to get back round the table for meaningful talks aimed at resolving this dispute rather than slamming the door in our faces. The company have upped the ante through their attitude and it is down to them that we are left with no option but to consider, along with our partner unions, an escalation of this dispute over the summer.”