Unite the Union say they have been “left with no choice” as they announced today that a series of 24-hour ‘stoppages’ will take place over the coming weeks.
It comes following a number of industrial action measures taken by union members demanding a fair pay from the rail operator.
They say Abellio Scotrail have failed to make a meaningful offer despite a number of industrial action measures since September 24.
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Unite’s engineering members will now take part in a series of 24 hour stoppages on days which also coincide with the COP26 climate change conference which is set to be held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.
The days scheduled for 24 hour strike action are as follows: October 18-19, November 1-2, November 10-11, and November 12-13.
The strike action will impact a number of areas and rail depots.
These include Bathgate Depot, Corkerhill (Glasgow) Depot, Dalmuir, Glasgow Central, Glasgow Queen Street, Edinburgh Haymarket Depot, Edinburgh Waverley, Inverness Depot, Motherwell, Perth, Shields (Glasgow) Depot, and Yoker Depot.
The strike action will commence at different times on the dates and at the various locations.
Discussions with Abellio Scotrail management have continued but to date ‘no pay offer’ has been put to the trade union.
Unite have made demands including the reinstatement of the Rest Day Working Agreement for around 250 engineers who provide maintenance, overhaul and repair services for the railway rolling stock.
They say there has been ‘no movement’ from Abellio Scotrail.
Unite’s engineering members at Abellio Scotrail voted by 78% in support of strike action in a 68.4% ballot turnout. 92% supported taking industrial action short of a strike.
Pat McIlvogue, Unite industrial officer, said: “Unite has been left with no choice but to resolutely respond to the reckless behaviour displayed by Abellio Scotrail management.
“While discussions have continued these talks have produced absolutely nothing. There has been no pay offer and no movement by the company.
“The talks have been spun out and cynically used as a delaying tactic to avoid the national embarrassment of having strike action during the COP26 climate change conference which is being held in Glasgow.
“Well, these tactics have spectacularly backfired because our engineering members will now hold several 24 hour stoppages in the coming weeks.”
“We want the Scottish public to know that we have exhausted the process. Unite’s members have been holding action short of strike in an attempt to get Abellio Scotrail to wake up, and to recognise the storm that they have created to no effect. Now strike action will severely disrupt events and the COP26 climate change conference due to this shambolic company.
“The Scottish Government and Transport Scotland must urgently intervene because the Abellio Scotrail management clearly lack the ability, humility and intelligence to live up to their responsibilities with respect to the workforce, and the Scottish public.”
A ScotRail spokesperson said: “We’re seeing customers gradually return to Scotland’s Railway, but the scale of the financial situation ScotRail is facing is stark.
“We will continue to engage with the rail trade unions to find an agreement on pay and conditions.
“To build a more sustainable and greener railway for the future and reduce the burden on the taxpayer, we need to change. All of us in the railway – management, staff, trade unions, suppliers, and government – need to work together to modernise the railway so that it is fit for the future.”