21 September 2021
RMT Press Office:
As the Scottish Government debates its plans for becoming a ‘Net Zero Nation’, RMT says SNP and Scottish Greens power sharing agreement will have fallen at first hurdle if it allows ScotRail services to be slashed.
As the SNP Scottish Government prepares to debate its plans for a ‘Net Zero Nation’ rail union RMT says that its recently announced power sharing agreement with the Scottish Greens will have fallen at the first hurdle if it allows massive cuts to ScotRail services to go ahead.
Failed ScotRail operator Dutch-state owned operator Abellio is consulting on proposals to slash c300 ScotRail services a day. This comes on the back of a ScotRail commissioned report, produced by Professor Iain Docherty which advocated damaging service cuts, ticket office closures and job losses across Scotland’s rail network. Yet, in contrast, the Scottish Government and Scottish Greens power sharing plans, announced last month, talk about the ‘crucial role’ that transport has in ‘supporting a green and fair recovery’ and makes a commitment to increasing investment in public transport.
RMT is demanding that the Scottish Government, which is managing the ScotRail franchise under its Emergency Measures Agreement, shows that its deal with the Scottish Greens is more than just empty rhetoric, and urgently put the brakes on the proposed cuts to ScotRail services.
RMT is joining the other rail unions (Aslef, TSSA and Unite) tomorrow, Wednesday 22nd September, at 12 noon, to demonstrate outside the First Minsters’ official residence, Bute House in Edinburgh over the future of Scotland’s railways.
With industrial relations on Scotland’s railway at an all-time low, the Unions are calling on the First Minister to meet with them on Wednesday to discuss the future of Scotland’s railway and are seeking a commitment from her that the Scottish Government will halt the damaging proposals to slash ScotRail services.
General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“The Scottish Government is today debating the ‘urgent transformational action’ that is required for Scotland to become a Net Zero Nation. Yet, if the Scottish Government presides over the slashing of ScotRail services, it will make a mockery of its commitment to tackle the climate emergency and its agreement with the Scottish Greens to ‘build a green economic recovery from Covid’. If these cuts go ahead, it is clear that the SNP and Scottish Greens deal will have fallen at the first hurdle.
“The Scottish Government is managing the ScotRail franchise under its ongoing Emergency Measures Agreement and it has the power to block the service cuts being proposed. It cannot evade responsibility over this issue.
“With COP26 just weeks away, it beggars belief that the Scottish Government is happy to preside over massive cuts to rail services, despite this being a sustainable and low carbon form of transport. This will do nothing to make Scotland a ‘Net zero nation’ and will just push more people into cars.
“RMT will be joining the other rail unions to demonstrate outside the First Minister’s official residence tomorrow, and we are demanding a commitment from her that she will block the proposals to cut ScotRail services.”