Further strikes across the Caledonian MacBrayne network cannot be ruled out, according to the trade union locked in dispute with the ferry company. 

In a statement to members, the RMT said it had made 'every effort to secure a series of very basic assurances over no compulsory redundancies, staffing levels, conditions of service and pensions, but to no avail'.

General Secretary Mick Cash commented: ""It is fair to say that the talks so far have been difficult and we are concerned that the emphasis seems to be on what can't and won't be done rather that what can be done to solve this dispute, particularly from CalMac.

"This is bitterly disappointing as your union suspended the industrial action in good faith to allow these talks to take place.

He added: "Unless there is more movement from the company in these talks, then further industrial action cannot be ruled out."

Caledonian Macbrayne Managing Director, Martin Dorchester, insisted that CalMac Ferries had NOT sought to change any existing terms and conditions. 

"Our colleagues have excellent terms and conditions and strong collective bargaining agreements that support them," he said.

“The best way of protecting this is to work with us to win the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service contract. I would urge all parties to keep talking to resolve our differences so we can work together towards this common goal.”