Euro 2020: RMT union row with ‘despicable’ ScotRail over strike warning that will leave Scotland fans without trains home on Sunday

ScotRail was today accused of a “despicable and desperate attempt” to turn Scotland football fans against its striking workers for tweeting a warning there would be few trains for their return home on Sunday because of industrial action.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said a ScotRail tweet posted last night had “tried to blame staff for disruption to services for the next Scotland game”.

ScotRail expects hundreds Scotland fans to return by train to Edinburgh and Glasgow from London on Sunday after the Euro 2020 game against England at Wembley on Friday.

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However, the latest of a series of RMT Sunday stoppages over being paid less than drivers for working on days off will see fewer than 15 per cent of ScotRail’s normal services running, and confined to routes in and around Glasgow.

The tweet said: "Heading home from the England v Scotland match on Sunday?

"Due to strike action by @RMTunion there will be very limited services after you arrive at Glasgow Central or Edinburgh Waverley.

"Please plan your onwards journey ahead of time.”

The RMT said the tweet had “backfired spectacularly” by prompting a “storm of protest with Twitter users queuing up to slam [ScotRail operator] Abellio and back the ScotRail workforce”.

Most ScotRail trains will remain in depots on Sunday when fewer than 15 per cent of services are due to operate. Picture: John Devlin
Most ScotRail trains will remain in depots on Sunday when fewer than 15 per cent of services are due to operate. Picture: John Devlin

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "It is is despicable that Abellio have tried ‎to turn Scottish football fans against ScotRail workers and I want to thank the public for standing with their front line rail workers against this greedy cowboy outfit.

"It's time for the SNP and Transport Scotland to stop this damaging and dangerous nonsense on Scotand's railways and force their contractors to cut a deal that recognises fairness and equality for all ScotRail grades."

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ScotRail warned the “highly disruptive strike action” was due to continue until July 25, and was “having a massive impact on people as the railway [as] the country tries to return to a level of normality.

Head of customer operations Phil Campbell said: “We hope Scottish fans returning from Wembley will be celebrating after the England game and the last thing we want to do is put a dampener on their party spirit.

“However, yet again, the unjustified and disruptive Sunday strike action called by the RMT union is inconveniencing customers at the worst time.

“We are urging fans coming back on Sunday to make sure they have made plans for their onward journeys after they arrive at Glasgow Central station or Edinburgh Waverley.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs today: "I don’t want to see strike action taken anywhere across the country, and on our rail services either.

"It is really important that the employer tries to resolve this as quickly as possible.

"Collective bargaining rests with the operator and the trade unions concerned.”

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, she added: "The transport minister [Graeme Dey] has agreed to meet with trade union representatives later this month to discuss their concerns in more detail, and I hope we will see a resolution to this as quickly as possible.”

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