8 October 2020
RMT Press Office:
Second 48 hours of RMT strike action goes ahead on Caledonian Sleeper from Sunday after SERCO block talks.
RAIL UNION RMT said today that members on the Caledonian Sleeper will take a second 48 hours of strike action on Sunday against SERCO's lack of concern for staff and passenger safety as the company block any moves to get talks back underway.
As a result of the companies point blank refusal to engage in talks with union officials over the fundamental issues of fatigue and safety all action now goes ahead as planned and all services have been cancelled again this Sunday.
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 stonewalled instead of exploring every option to broker a settlement. That pig-headed approach has left RMT with no option but to continue with the programme of industrial action rather than compromise on staff and passenger safety.
The strike action has been sparked after SERCO Caledonian Sleeper have repeatedly failed to provide sufficient 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.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"It is appalling that SERCO have stonewalled every opportunity to resolve this dispute since last Sundays rock-solid action and that failure on the companies part leaves them wholly responsible for the cancellation of services again this weekend.
“RMT members on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper are absolutely determined to seek justice in this dispute and I know that this will be displayed again by full support across the service for this industrial action. We have made every effort to broker a settlement but SERCO have blown it.
"It is a total dereliction of duty on the part of the political leadership in Scotland that they have not lifted a finger to help find a resolution to this high profile industrial dispute and have left SERCO to ride roughshod over both staff and passenger safety.
“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.”