Workers on west coast ferries have voted to strike over fears about their pensions and workplace rights.
The ballot was held in response to Government plans to consider putting some ferry routes run by state-owned Caledonian MacBrayne out to tender.
Routes which will be affected are Ardrossan to Brodick, Wemyss Bay to Rothesay, Oban to Craignure and Largs to Cumbrae.
Transport workers' union RMT said it received assurances earlier in September that the ferry services will not be privatised.
But general secretary Bob Crow said employees were still waiting for confirmation on pensions and the protection of workplace rights.
Workers voted nine to one in the ballot which ended on Wednesday.
Mr Crow said: "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.
"The result will now be considered by the RMT executive and 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."
The RMT feared that the Clyde and Hebrides ferry routes would be broken up and sold off to private companies, with knock-on implications for workers' conditions.
Alex Salmond told MSPs during First Minister's Questions last Thursday that the Scottish Government has "no plans to unbundle the Clyde and Hebrides ferry service".
Mr Salmond said: "The tendering of the Clyde and Hebrides lifeline ferry services is required to protect these vital services."