A resolution has been reached in the industrial dispute at CalMac Ferries Limited and Argyll Ferries Limited, ending the possibility of further strikes, it was announced this evening.
The agreement comes following a fourth day of talks between the Scottish Government, CalMac Ferries Limited and union representatives.
It means the tendering process for the next Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) contract will proceed, with the Initial Invitation To Tender set to issue on July 31.
After chairing the talks, Scottish Government Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay said: “All parties involved in the talks have worked hard to find a solution and I am very pleased an agreement has now been reached that ends the threat of further strike action.
“Nowhere will this news be welcomed more than in our islands and we must now return our focus on delivering these vital ferry services for the communities that depend on them.
“The agreement also means that the tendering process for the next CHFS contract will continue, with the Initial Invitation To Tender set to issue on 31st July.
“The Scottish Government has made a clear commitment to our ferry services, investing a record £1billion in port infrastructure, vessels and services since 2007. We have also introduced Road Equivalent Tariff, substantially reducing the cost of ferry travel for passengers, cars, coaches and small commercial vehicles on the CHFS network.
“As Minister for Transport and Islands, I’m well aware of the lifeline role these services play in supporting our islands and the Scottish Government remains committed to delivering the very best deal for all of the communities of the Clyde and Hebrides.”
Mr Martin Dorchester, managing director of CalMac Ferries said: “We can confirm that we have been able to conclude talks with the RMT and the TSSA and that their concerns have been addressed. Further strike action was in no one's interests.
“I'd like to recognise the positive engagement and support of all our unions in achieving this position.
“Now is the time for everyone at CalMac to start focusing 100% on successfully winning the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service contract. This is the best way of not only ensuring long term protection for our employees but also of securing the quality lifeline services we provide to the communities we serve. We are the best company to deliver these services and I look forward to working with all our colleagues to achieve this goal.”