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.


Add Your Comment
  • Brian Gillies

    • July 6th, 2011 20:06

    I am an ex fisherman, Shetland Coastguard saved my life as well as my crew members when our fishing vessel was sinking, assuming bad timing and Shetland Coastguard has went on strike or closed down, then I would not be writing this today, and neither would the 167 survivors of the Piper-Alpha (I was there looking for survivors in my fishing vessel), its all down to the money, when does preservation of life come first, I even heard a rumour that they was going to scrap all the stand-by vessels, who stay alongside the oil-rigs, that would place a tremendous pressure onto the Coastguard, who will stand up and say I was responsible for the loss of personal if they close down vital Coastguard stations when vital seconds depend on getting help, I needed them, who’s next to need them , hopefully some PM out for a sail with no Coastguard to help him


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