27 June 2021
RMT Press Office:
As Scotrail strike action continues to be solidly supported today RMT demands urgent summit with the First Minister over long-running battle for pay justice and equality
As strike action by Scotrail conductors and ticket examiners is solidly supported again today, rail union RMT is demanding an urgent summit with the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon after a meeting with the Transport Minister earlier this week failed to make any progress on the issues of pay justice and equality for these key workers.
In response to a First Minister question on 17thJune, regarding the ongoing disputes, the First Minister stated that the Transport Minister, Graeme Dey MSP, was due to meet with the trade unions and expressed her hope that there would be a ‘resolution as quickly as possible’.
Yet, regrettably, the meeting with the Transport Minister on 24th June failed to make any progress after it became apparent that the Scottish Government continues to refuse to treat rail workers equally with other public sector workers and instead is treating these essential workers with contempt.
RMT believes that it is high time the First Minister intervened and agreed to an urgent summit with the RMT in order to achieve her stated goal of finding a resolution to these disputes.
General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“I want to pay tribute to our ScotRail members who are standing firm once again on the latest day of strike action in this dispute which is all about basic pay justice and equality with other grades.
"The Scottish Government cannot continue to wash its hands over this issue, it is managing the ScotRail franchise and responsibility rests with it to bring about a fair resolution to the disputes. It is disappointing that the approach taken by the Transport Minister at a meeting with the trade unions this week made crystal clear that these frontline workers continue to be treated with disdain.
"Regrettably, the approach taken by the Scottish Government and Abellio ScotRail to these issues has meant that industrial relations across ScotRail are at an all-time low.
"The First Minister has put on record her wish for a resolution to these disputes to be found ‘as quickly as possible’ and we now need her to agree to our request for an urgent summit so that we can make progress on reaching a fair resolution to these disputes.”
Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 17 June 2021
ScotRail Strike Action
Since March, conductors and ticket examiners at ScotRail have been taking strike action and it is believed that that will go on into the summer. That has led to a huge reduction in services on Sundays, including for a number of key workers who have told me that there are only limited bus services to various hospitals around Scotland. What is the First Minister’s view on those strikes and what is the Scottish Government doing to bring the action to a close and end the travel disruption for millions of passengers?
I do not want to see strike action being taken anywhere across the country and I do not want to see it being taken on rail services either. It is really important that the employer tries to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Collective bargaining rests with the operator and the trade unions concerned. I know that the transport minister has agreed to meet with trade union representatives later this month to discuss their concerns in more detail, and I hope that we will see a resolution as quickly as possible.
Over the months to come, we will be doing work to take ScotRail into public ownership, which will bring a range of different benefits to people across the country.