Union warns Scottish transport minister over Orkney Ferries dispute

12 January 2018

Nautilus International has written to Scotland's transport minister Humza Yousaf to highlight the need to address long-standing concerns which are set to result in industrial action by officers on lifeline Orkney Ferries' services.

Nautilus national ferry organiser Micky Smyth told the minister of the 'exceptional circumstances' which have resulted in the Union's members voting overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action short of a strike.

As a result of the 22-1 vote, Nautilus members will participate in an overtime ban, a call-out ban and a work-to-rule with effect from Wednesday 17 January.

'Hopefully a resolution will be sought in the near future to resolve the current impasse to ensure the continuation of lifeline services for the public on these routes,' Mr Smyth told the minister.

Nautilus argues that the Scottish government needs to deliver on commitments for 'fair funding' for Orkney and Shetland ferry services.

'This would not only bring support for internal Northern Isles ferries into line with the Western Isles, but would also safeguard their future and enable the terms and conditions of their seafarers to be brought into line with crews on comparable operations,' Mr Smyth pointed out.