A STRIKE ballot of ScotRail conductors has been launched by the RMT in a dispute over pay, but the company has condemned the vote, saying that such a move ‘is wrong for staff at a time of financial crisis for the railway’.
ScotRail pointed out that all jobs have been protected, with no one being furloughed or affected by cuts to their basic pay, but it is accusing the RMT of ‘an attempt to force an increase in overtime payments’.
ScotRail operations director David Simpson said: ‘The RMT is jeopardising the jobs of thousands of railway workers.
‘Strike action over increases in overtime payments would be wrong for staff and passengers when the railway faces the biggest financial crisis in its history and is almost entirely reliant on emergency taxpayer and public support to pay wages and keep people in jobs.
‘Industrial action will only result in further questions about the justification for the funding that we are receiving and negative reaction from our passengers, which puts jobs at risk.
‘Rather than creating division and making the railway a less attractive option for passengers, we need everyone to work together to rebuild ScotRail and create a more sustainable railway for the future.’
The RMT has not yet responded to ScotRail’s latest comments, but the union’s general secretary Mick Cash has previously accused Scottish ministers of ‘blocking’ pay negotiations.
The ballot of conductors will continue until 11 March.