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John Finnie Accuses Islands’ Minister of ‘Turning his back on workers’

John FinnieLocal MSP John Finnie, Scottish Greens, has accused The Islands Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, of ‘turning his back’ on workers.

Last year the Scottish Government signed a union agreement committing to the application of Fair Work principles across Scottish Government and associated bodies.

At the time Derek Mackay, Finance Secretary said:

““We need to lead by example, and that is why, building on the commitment announced by the First Minister to put fair work first by applying fair work criteria to as many funding streams, business support grants and public contracts as we can, this Fair Work Agreement demonstrates our commitment to be a fair work employer.”

The Scottish Greens Transport Spokesperson John Finnie MSP challenged Paul Wheelhouse in the Scottish Parliament, after the government named the outsourcing giant, Serco,  as its choice to run the Northern Isles Ferry Services for the next eight years.

Mr Finnie described the government’s association with the “disreputable” company – who also run HMP Kilmarnock and the Caledonian Sleeper – and has a shocking industrial relations history as “disgraceful”.

 John Finnie said:

 “The Scottish Government’s disgraceful decision to place the lifeline Northern Isles Ferry Services contract back into the hands of the disreputable Serco puts private profit before island communities.

“The Islands Minister has turned his back on the workers who deliver these vital services, in favour of a private company that wants to asset strip our public services. Serco’s industrial relations record is abysmal, and by offering them yet another public contract, the Scottish Government has effectively ripped up its commitment to fair work.”

Paul Wheelhouse stated that the Fair Work Framework did apply to the contract.

You can watch Topical Questions here. John Finnie is the second question at 6:40

Related stories: 

Serco Wins Contract & Ferry Fares to be Reduced

Reaction Round Up to Serco Ferry Contract Award

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