28 September 2020
RMT Press Office:
RMT in last ditch talks on Wednesday as strike looms on Caledonian Sleeper
RAIL UNION RMT will take part in last ditch talks with SERCO on Wednesday as members on the Caledonian Sleeper prepare to take strike action and action short of a strike on Sunday against SERCO's lack of concern for member's safety and wellbeing and the company's refusal to negotiate with their union.
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.
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;
“RMT members on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper are absolutely determined to seek justice in this dispute and I am sure this will be displayed by full support across the service for this industrial action. We have a chance to broker a settlement on Wednesday but the ball is now firmly in SERCO's court and the clock is ticking.
“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.”