Caledonian Sleeper cancels all services between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Fort William and London during ten-night strike from June 15

Thousands of passengers face ten nights with no Caledonian Sleeper trains between Scotland and London after operator Serco said it would be unable to run any services during strikes over pay.

The decision means no Sleeper trains will run between Tuesday June 15 and Friday June 25 inclusive.

A “Lowlander” service normally operates every night except Saturdays in both directions between Edinburgh, Glasgow and London.

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The “Highlander” services runs between Aberdeen, Inverness, Fort William and London on the same days.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) last week announced a walkout over staff not being offered a pay rise without productivity improvements.

Similar ballots are in hand at ScotRail by the RMT and other unions.

Serco said it had tried to keep some services running during the strike “while maintaining the expected standards of safety and guest experience”.

But it said: “After close review, a decision has been made to cancel all services”.

Passengers will be given full refunds.

However, the company said it did not expect a planned overtime ban from June 26 following the strikes to affect services.

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Serco’s managing director for Caledonian Sleeper Kathryn Darbandi said: “The proposed strike action by the RMT is both unjustified and very disappointing, and will impact thousands of guests due to travel in the period at a time when we should all be working together to rebuild the Scottish economy.

"It will also harm our hard-working staff who will lose significant earnings as a result.

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"Throughout the pandemic, we have protected staff, all of whom have received full pay even though our services have been significantly reduced.

"We have also been clear that we fully intend to resume pay talks next year, once the business is in a stronger position.

“We remain open to discussions aimed at resolving the dispute, but in the meantime, we have had no choice but to prepare for the strike to go ahead.

"Unfortunately, as a result, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel our services.

"We’re sorry that guests will be affected by this strike action and are contacting them to arrange a full refund.”

Mick Hogg, the RMT’s Scottish organiser, said this would be the fifth strike since the start of Serco’s 15-year franchise in 2015.

He said: “RMT members within Serco Caledonian Sleeper are not seeking charity.

"All RMT members are seeking is fairness and recognition for the commitment they have given to Scotland’s railway by taking the risk every day by turning up for work and taking the same risk home to their families every day.

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"Not sitting in the house like Serco Caledonian Sleeper managers getting paid.

"RMT members should be regarded as heroes and deserve medals for ensuring other key essential workers got to their work on time

“The Serco shareholders should take heed, and sit up and smell the coffee, and rather than drown theirselves in the Serco profits, instruct the company to settle this dispute and make an offer.

"Lastly, the Serco shareholders need to ask themselves the following: Is our investment safe in Serco hands?

"Since being awarded the franchise, this is the fifth time industrial action has taken place within Serco Caledonian Sleeper trains.

"Reckless decisions by Serco management - who are out of their depth.”

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