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A PUBLIC meeting on the Orkney Islands is to hear calls for the nationalisation of ferry services which are their lifeline with mainland Scotland.
The Orkneys comprise 70 islands, 20 of them inhabited.
The five-vessel NorthLink ferry service linking them with each other and the mainland is operated by privateer Serco and subsidised by the Scottish government.
The ferries are staffed by transport union RMT members.
The union says passenger and freight traffic has decreased and performance declined under Serco control.
RMT has organised the meeting at the islands’ main centre Kirkwall on Wednesday February 7.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT members are proud to deliver this lifeline ferry service for local communities and visitors.
“Rather than subsidise privateers for a worsening service, these lifeline ferries need to be brought into public ownership so they operate in the best interests of the people who use them.”
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