Coastguard staff remain at work during strike after support from public
Coastguard workers remained at their desks today despite public sector workers walking out across the country in protest over cuts.
Widespread public support against planned cut-backs in the service dissuaded staff from leaving their duties.
PCS members within the MCA decided a full-blown strike would leave the Northern Isles too vulnerable should an offshore incident take place. However administrative duties were curtailed in support of fellow union members.
The union said: “Shetland Coastguard PCS Union members wish to reassure the public that we will not be taking strike action … however, we will demonstrate our support to union colleagues by taking ‘action short of a strike’.
“This means that all frontline services for the public will be provided as normal, including distress, urgency and safety duties, but routine and administrative work in support of our headquarters and the government will not be undertaken.
“Our members feel that with the demonstration of support shown by the communities of the Northern Isles during our ongoing campaign to save Shetland Coastguard, to take strike action and leave the Orkney and Shetland islands without emergency cover would be irresponsible.
“Our dispute is with the UK government over the decimation of our rights and pensions, and not with the public.”
Elsewhere, the JobCentre Plus at Charlotte House was forced to remain closed after union members took strike action.
Airport links to and from Sumburgh Airport were not affected.