1 October 2020
RMT Press Office:
RMT action goes ahead on Caledonian Sleeper from Sunday after SERCO collapse last ditch talks
RAIL UNION RMT said today that members on the Caledonian Sleeper will take strike action and action short of a strike from Sunday against SERCO's lack of concern for member's safety and wellbeing after the company collapsed last ditch talks held yesterday.
As a result of the companies point blank refusal to engage in serious talks over the fundamental issues of fatigue and safety all action now goes ahead as planned and all services have been cancelled.
RMT has made it clear that they have been prepared to negotiate from the outset and have been prepared to engage with ACAS while the company have tried to keep the whole process in-house rather than exploring every option to broker a settlement. That pig-headed approach has been key to the failure of talks yesterday which RMT entered in good faith.
The strike action has been sparked after SERCO Caledonian Sleeper continued to provide insufficient berths for rest periods and the company's inability to address the fatigue experienced by RMT members as a result. RMT says that safety on the railway is paramount and the company are showing a clear lack of regard for the welfare of its staff. There is no question that RMT members are essential for the safe running of the railway and it is vital that staff are able to carry out their duties responsively and quickly. This can only happen when staff are free from the danger of fatigue.
Following the overwhelming vote for action Sleeper Hosts and Sleeper Team Leaders working for SERCO Caledonian Sleeper have been instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:
• 1730 hours on Sunday 4th October 2020 until 1730 hours on Tuesday 6thOctober 2020
• 1730 hours on Sunday 11th October 2020 until 1730 hours on Tuesday 13th October 2020
Additionally, members are also instructed to take the following action short of a strike:
• Not to undertake any rest day working or higher grade duties or voluntary overtime from 1731 hours on Tuesday 6th October 2020 until 1729 hours on Sunday 11th October 2020.
• Not to undertake any rest day working or higher grade duties or voluntary overtime from 1731 hours on Tuesday 13th October 2020 until further notice
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"It is appalling that SERCO have tossed away the opportunity to resolve this dispute and that failure on the companies part leaves them wholly responsible for the cancellation of services.
“RMT members on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper are absolutely determined to seek justice in this dispute and I know that this will be displayed by full support across the service for this industrial action. We had a chance to broker a settlement yesterday but SERCO have blown it.
“A clear message has been sent to management by their staff and it is now time for the SERCO management to respond in a meaningful and positive way to the serious safety issues at the heart of this dispute.”