ScotRail service

ScotRail conductors industrial action going ahead

ScotRail train at a station
Photo: RMT

Passengers in Scotland are being warned to expect significant rail disruptions on Sundays because of strike action by ScotRail conductors.

Rail union RMT confirmed that industrial action will go ahead over the next six consecutive Sundays, from March 28, in a fight over enhanced payments for rest day working.

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The strike is hoping to force an increase in overtime payments at a time when ScotRail is facing a financial crisis caused by COVID-19.

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The RMT says that the company are now slandering their own staff for taking action that’s been forced on them during the pandemic, despite the fact that it is the front line workers who have kept trains running at huge personal risk “while Scotrail bosses have been tucked away nice and safe”.

“The strike action will have no impact on ScotRail’s position on overtime pay increases.”

Graham Ralston, ScotRail Head of Conductors

An emergency measures agreement (EMA) is being worked on with the Scottish Government which will continue until September 2021.

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This means ScotRail can continue to operate services for key workers and keep its 5,200 staff in secure jobs.

However, due to the industrial action being taken by RMT conductor members, the rail operator says it will not be able to provide the same level of services to essential workers over the next six Sundays. Here are all the key routes affected by the strike action.

ScotRail train
Photo: ScotRail

‘Strike is wrong during a global pandemic’

Graham Ralston, ScotRail Head of Conductors, said: “The strike action will have no impact on ScotRail’s position on overtime pay increases, given the severe financial challenges we face.

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“The strike is wrong during a global pandemic and will have a significant impact on those who need to make essential journeys.

“We will do everything we can to minimise the consequences of this action, but key workers will be adversely affected. Inevitably, many will have to find alternative and much less convenient ways to get to work to perform their life-saving duties.”

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ScotRail ‘resorting to mud slinging’

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said:”“I have no doubt that our ScotRail members will show full support and stand shoulder to shoulder during the days of industrial action. It’s frankly disgusting that rather than recognising the issues at the heart of this dispute the company have resorted to disgraceful mud slinging.

“Staff at the front line who have put themselves at huge risk during this pandemic will take no lectures from company bosses who have kept themselves well clear from danger.

“We have made it clear that we will not allow ScotRail to divide the workforce and are demanding that ScotRail do what is fair and honour an enhanced rate for rest day working for all grades.”

After more than 75% of members voted to strike RMT has instructed them not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 28th March 2021
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 4th April 2021
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 11th April 2021
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 18th April 2021
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 25th April 2021
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 2nd May 2021

The union has said it will give notice of further Sundays of action if no agreement is reached with the company.

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Sam Hewitt

Let off some steam...