3 July 2019
RMT Press Office:
RMT condemns Scottish Government’s unhealthy relationship with Serco
TRANSPORT union RMT today condemned the Scottish Government’s unhealthy relationship with Serco following news that the outsourcing multinational will be forced to pay £22.9m in fines and costs following the Serious Fraud Office’s six-year investigation finding Serco guilty of fraud and false accounting.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Once again, Serco, the specialists in failure, have been found out. Fraud and false accounting are serious offences that should make any Government think twice about using private companies to deliver essential public services.
“Yet Serco continue their incompetent handling of new rolling stock on the Caledonian Sleeper contract at RMT members and passengers expense without the prospect of any censure from the Scottish Government. And on lifeline ferries, Serco have never been required to state the profits they take out of the Northern Isles Ferry (NIFS) contract they were awarded by the Scottish Government in 2012. Despite this, Serco could be awarded the next NIFS contract in August, when MSPs are on holiday.
“Workers, passengers and communities, especially in Orkney and Shetland, deserve the stability and certainty of a publicly operated and run ferry service, not another gamble on Serco Group’s predatory empire.
Notes to Editors
1. It was announced today that Serco will be fined £19.2m and pay £3.7m costs https://www.serco.com/news/media-releases/2019/investigation-by-the-serious-fraud-office-into-serco-companies-concludes-with-a-deferred-prosecution-agreement
2. RMT are in dispute with Serco Caledonian Sleeper over the company’s handling of the launch of the new rolling stock on the lowlander services. Since the introduction of these new trains staff morale has hit an all-time low, with cases of workplace stress and mental health issues reported. Insufficient staffing and training levels combined with an unresponsive management regime have contributed to a complete breakdown in industrial relations. A ballot for industrial action amongst RMT members is currently being held.
3. The Scottish Government is currently tendering the public contract for ferry services from the mainland to and between the Orkney and Shetland Islands which will comes into effect on 31 October 2019.
4. Public ferry company David MacBrayne and private incumbent Serco are the only bidders for a lifeline ferry contract for up to eight years and worth an estimated £619m. The announcement of the winning bidder is expected to be made by Transport Scotland in August.
5. RMT organise Ratings and shore-based NorthLink staff. We are campaigning to Nationalise NorthLink.
6. Motion S5M-17976, tabled by David Stewart MSP in support of the Nationalise NorthLink campaign before the Scottish Parliament rose for recess at the end of June has received cross-party support.