Caledonian Sleeper staff to be balloted for strike action by RMT over pay

Scotland-London overnight trains are threatened with disruption after Caledonian Sleeper staff voted today to hold a strike ballot.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) voted by 80-13 for a ballot on taking industrial action over pay.

The union said operator Serco had insisted that any wage increase must be funded by productivity improvements, under emergency Scottish Government funding to keep the service going during the Covid crisis when passenger numbers have plummeted.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Staff were asked: “Do you want the RMT to ballot members for industrial action over this years pay discussions?"

Caledonian Sleeper staff voted by 80 per cent for a strike ballot

Mick Hogg, the unions’ Scottish organiser, said: “It is an overwhelming result for action.

"The next step will be a formal ballot for action on pay for 2021.

“Serco has taken the same line as ScotRail, via Transport Scotland – agree nothing that increases your cost.

"Therefore on pay, they have offered nothing.”

Caledonian Sleeper managing director Kathryn Darbandi described the impending vote as "deeply disappointing"
Read More
Hundreds more ScotRail staff vote to strike over holiday pay

The RMT and ScotRail’s three other unions are also staging consultative ballots over a similar pay situation there.

Kathryn Darbandi, Serco’s managing director of Caledonian Sleeper, said: “It is deeply disappointing that the RMT is voting for industrial action when our focus should be on supporting the recovery from the pandemic.

"It is particularly frustrating given that all our employees have continued to be employed and on full pay throughout the pandemic, despite a reduced service being in place for most of the last year.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The threat of disruption comes two and half weeks before travel restrictions across mainland Scotland are expected to be scrapped.

However, the Scottish Government has yet to announce whether non-essential journeys will also be permitted to England, such as on the Sleeper.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.