ScotRail: Workers called ‘reckless’ after threatening industrial action

Strike action is supported by workers as the union Unite accuses Albellio ScotRail of failing to make a meaningful pay offer.

The union also claims that the rail company has withdrawn “a number of entitlements from workers including the Rest Day Working Agreement with Unite in April 2020 for engineering workers.”

They claim that the company received £1.4 billion to cover drop in revenue, protection for staff and rail services during the pandemic, and that “Abellio Scotrail's highest paid director increased their pay from £158,000 in 2019 to £216,000 in 2020.”

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Unite members supported industrial action by 75%, and action short of strike by 90%.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite industrial officer, said: “Despite the best efforts of Abellio Scotrail to apply pressure on our members not to take the next step in holding them to account our members have supported taking industrial action in this consultative ballot.

"This should be a wake-up call to Abellio Scotrail management that Unite’s members will no longer tolerate being treated unacceptably.

"We will seek further meetings in a final attempt to find a remedy, and we will inform the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland of the result.

"If Abellio Scotrail refuses to positively engage with us then we will have no option but to move forward with an industrial action campaign.”

Abellio ScotRail have said that the Scottish Government has instructed them not to award a pay rise.

They have responded by calling the support for the strike ‘reckless’.

Syeda Ghufran, ScotRail Engineering Director, said: “I am disappointed engineers have backed Unite’s reckless push for strike action.

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“ScotRail has a proud record of providing high-paid, high-skilled engineering jobs. While other transport operators have had to cut jobs and reduced wages during the pandemic, I am proud that ScotRail has been able to protect all jobs, wages, and conditions.

“At a time when the railway faces the most serious financial crisis in its history, we need to work together to recover ScotRail, get passengers using the trains again, and build a more sustainable operation. Strike action is divisive and wrong.”

The company will stop running ScotRail at the end of March next year when the rail services in Scotland will be operated by a public sector body.

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