Crews from Scotland’s fishery protection boats say the Scottish Government is “playing fast and loose” with the law in a dispute over a pay rise.

Members of the Unite union working onboard marine protection vessels (MPV) claim the Scottish Government and Marine Scotland had “imposed a pay award against their wishes” by offering a 2% rise – well below a rate of inflation nearly six times that amount.

Crews from MPV Hirta and MPV Jura – responsible for policing Scottish fleets to prevent overfishing – are to strike on May 26 and 27 and June 3 and 4 respectively over the decision.

The Scottish Government said it acted “lawfully” during negotiations and said it was open to further dialogue with crew members including including engineers, cooks, petty officers, merchant officers, mate and deck hands.

But Unite say the offer breached collective bargaining agreements – a practice known as “unlawful inducement”.

Sandy Smart, Unite industrial officer, added: “Marine Scotland and the Scottish Government are refusing to move on this, and instead they are telling our members to concentrate on this year’s pay.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Politics Matters

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