ScotRail conductors will be on strike starting Sunday 28th March 2021 due to disputes over enhanced payments for rest day working.
This comes after 75% of RMT members voted to strike with a range of industrial action dates announced and the union said to be announcing more if no agreement is reached with ScotRail.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“It’s frankly disgusting that rather than recognising the issues at the heart of this dispute, the company have resorted to disgraceful mudslinging.
“Staff at the front line who have put themselves at huge risk during this pandemic will take no lectures from company bosses who have kept themselves well clear from danger.
“We have made it clear that we will not allow ScotRail to divide the workforce and are demanding that ScotRail do what is fair and honour an enhanced rate for rest day working for all grades.”
Jobs at ScotRail were protected during the pandemic due to emergency support from the Scottish Government with no staff placed on furlough or any cuts to basic wages or terms and conditions.
The number of passengers and revenue has fallen more than 90% during the pandemic with the ‘work from home’ order reducing the number of passengers using ScotRail daily.
ScotRail Operations Director, David Simpson said: “I am disappointed in the RMT’s conductor members have voted for strike action during a pandemic. It is the wrong decision for railway staff and our passengers.
“We will do everything we can to minimise the impact on our passengers, particularly those key workers who are reliant on our services.
“Strike action at a time of national crisis, when we have required emergency government support just to stay afloat, and when we benefit from a level of job security not enjoyed by other industries, it is wrong. It will damage ScotRail’s credibility at a time when we need to attract people back to the railway when COVID-19 restrictions allow.
The planned industrial action dates are:
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 28th March 2021
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 4th April 2021
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 11th April 2021
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 18th April 2021
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 25th April 2021
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 2nd May 2021
RMT are also balloting ticket examiners for strike action in an attempt to force an increase in overtime payments. This ballot runs until Thursday, 8th April 2021.