MEP Welcomes decision on CalMac strike

17 March 2005
"I am glad the strike has been called off but this doesn't solve the problems facing Cal Mac"

MEP Alyn Smith, who this week met with the European Commission to discuss the future of Caledonian MacBrayne, has welcomed the decision of the RMT to recommend calling off the strike.

Speaking from the Western Isles Mr Smith said

"I am pleased the RMT and Caledonian MacBrayne have been able to reach an agreement and that the RMT will now recommend calling off the strike. I understand the concern Cal Mac workers feel about the future of the company but the impact of a strike on island communities could be disastrous.

The best way to offer Cal Mac workers a secure future is to avoid tendering the company, as the Executive seem determined to do. The tender planned by the Executive is unnecessary and unwelcome. I hope the concern over the impact on the islands of a strike will also lead to greater concern from the Transport Minister over ensuring ferry services to the islands have a secure future. "

Mr Smith is currently on the Western Isles with a delegation of MEPs from the European Regional Development Committee.