Travel warning as ScotRail train strikes continue

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ScotRail has warned passengers of further widespread travel disruption across its network as railway strikes continue.

Mallaig, United Kingdom – 16 OCTOBER 2019 : Exterior of ScotRail coach stopped in train station.

Members of the RMT will take part in 24-hour industrial action on Monday over an ongoing pay dispute with the nationalised train operator.

It means “a very limited number” of ScotRail services will operate on “a very limited number of routes”.

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Passengers have been warned to “only travel if they really need to” and to consider alternative options where possible.

Trains will only run between 7.30am and 6.30pm between Milngavie and Edinburgh via Bathgate (two an hour) and one train an hour between Glasgow and both Lanark and Larkhall.

A large proportion of ScotRail’s employees are members of the RMT, including in conductors, ticket examiners, hospitality, station staff, engineering depot staff, train presentation, supervisors, resource co-ordinators, and CCTV operators.

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Last Thursday the union rejected ScotRail’s latest pay offer of 5%, which the train operator had tabled in a bid to avert strike action.

Mick Hogg, RMT Scottish organiser, described the latest pay deal as “a kick in the teeth” offer, saying it goes “nowhere near the cost-of-living crisis and constitutes a pay cut”.

He said the union remains available for talks to continue.

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The dispute is separate from the RMT’s unresolved deal with Network Rail, which has seen disruption across the whole Great Britain railway network on a number of days since July.

Members took part in strike action over the weekend, causing significant disruption to train travel both north and south of the border.

The RMT has also advised ScotRail that its general grades members will take part in an overtime and rest day working ban as part of action short of a strike from Friday October 14, which will have some impact on the train operator’s services until the dispute is resolved.

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Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s head of customer operations, said: “We’re really disappointed that the dispute with the RMT has reached this outcome, given the strength of the improved pay offer ScotRail made.

“This strike action does nothing for the railway’s recovery at this fragile time. It will severely impact our customers and it will also cost our staff through lost wages.”

He said the ScotRail remains “open to resolving this dispute”.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We absolutely respect the democratic right of union members to take industrial action, be that in Scotland or elsewhere, and we know there have been constructive discussions between ScotRail and the Scottish representatives of RMT members – unlike negotiations elsewhere in the UK at present.

“So it is really disappointing that Scottish members are being denied the opportunity to vote on a new Scottish deal.

“We call on the RMT national executive to suspend the ScotRail strike action in favour of a members’ referendum on the revised pay offer – an offer which is self-funded, fair and affordable.

“ScotRail workers should be given the opportunity to decide for themselves.

“In accepting this deal, one similar to that already enjoyed by members in other unions in Scotland, many railway staff would be better off at a time of increasing pressures on household budgets.”


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