ARE Scotland's islands facing a period of uncertainty with the potential to damage livelihoods and threaten the existence of livelihoods in distinctive, if fragile, hinterlands?
The question must be begged in light of yesterday's announcement by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union that it will ballot workers on strike action in a dispute about conditions and pensions. The threat appears premature at this stage. The union is concerned that the Scottish Government is preparing to put Caledonian MacBrayne's Ardrossan to Brodick, Wemyss Bay to Rothesay, Oban to Craignure and Largs to Cumbrae routes out to tender for a new contract beginning in October next year, resulting in what it says could be the undermining of workers' terms.
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