A UNION has warned of a possible CalMac strike action in a dispute over a "derisory" pay offer.

The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association  (TSSA) gave the warning saying members "overwhelmingly" rejected a  0.5% pay offer from the company.

The union said talks broke down today after the state-owned ferry operator refused to increase their offer despite posting a pre-tax profit of £7.1m last year.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary, said “CalMac are behaving like Scrooge, offering what amounts to a pay cut just as people are thinking about Christmas.


“Last week the managing director, Robbie Drummond, sent a glossy postcard to every member of staff, thanking them for their 'support, understanding and commitment' serving the island communities throughout the pandemic. Well talk is cheap and this week we’ve found out exactly how cheap Robbie Drummond’s talk really is.

“Clearly, 0.5% is a paltry offer to keyworkers who’ve kept the ferries running, bringing vital lifeline supplies to the island communities, in the middle of a global pandemic. Our members are absolutely right to reject that offer.

“Instead of wasting money on postcards CalMac should be inviting us back to the table and making a sensible pay offer. If they don’t we will not hesitate to ballot our members for strike action.”

The union says CalMac made two offers to the unions.

The first was a one year deal of 0.5%. The second was as  a two year deal, where workers would get a 0.5% rise in the first year and a retail price inflation rise in year two.   

The union said both offers were rejected overwhelmingly.


TSSA said: "CalMac is claiming they cannot afford a larger payrise but have failed to provide us with costings to prove this, despite our repeatedly asking for them. When asked, they did not explain why they thought they could afford RPI next year if they were genuinely unable to afford it this year, stating 'we’re willing to take a gamble'.

The union said a 0.5% payrise across all staff in the company amounts to £450,000.

Robbie Drummond, managing director of CalMac, said: “Discussions are still ongoing and we will be setting up a further meeting over the next couple of days.”

Daivd MacBrayne Ltd, the transport and logistics firm that operates CalMac Ferries, reported revenues up to £215 million for the year ended March 31, 2019 against £210m the year before and profit before tax was £7.1m compared to £4.2m.