Ferry workers at Scotland's Caledonian MacBrayne have overwhelmingly voted to strike over pensions and workplace rights.
Maritime union RMT said it had balloted more than 500 staff of the state-owned service.
Nearly 90 per cent voted in favour on a 60 per cent turnout.
The union recently clashed with Scottish Transport Secretary Keith Brown over fears that some routes were going to be hived off to private firms.
But general secretary Bob Crow said he had received a "cast-iron assurance" that there would be no tendering.
But he said workers had received no word on their pensions or the protection of workplace rights.
"This massive vote for action shows that RMT members are determined to stand united in the fight to defend their pensions and workplace rights on the CalMac services.
"We hope that the company and the ministers will now seize this opportunity to give us the very simple and straightforward assurances we are seeking," he said.
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