RMT calls for intervention in sleeper dispute
The RMT has called for senior politicians in Scotland to intervene in the union's pay dispute with Caledonian Sleeper. Its members are set to strike from midday today until midday on Saturday, and the walkouts are taking place during the closing days of COP26 in Glasgow. The union says the current offer of 1.4 per cent is 'way below inflation' and also less than its recent deal with ScotRail. General secretary Mick Lynch said: 'After a settlement was brokered on ScotRail it is appalling that the similar calls for workplace justice on Scotland's sleeper service are being ignored and the workforce left out in the cold. There is still time to come up with a fair pay settlement for this key group of Scotland's rail workers as COP26 enters its final days. That would be an important statement of support for a group of staff providing green transport alternatives.'
Most sleeper trains to and from Scotland over the next two days have been cancelled. Serco Caledonian Sleeper managing director Kathryn Darbandi said: 'It is very disappointing and frustrating that the RMT leadership has decided to continue with the planned industrial action this week. With Transport Scotland’s support, we had made a good pay offer to settle this long-running dispute, and we had been encouraged to understand that it would be positively received. Not unreasonably, our offer was in part dependent on the RMT calling off the strike action planned for later this week. Understandably, the RMT want to put the offer to their membership, which is the right thing to do and we would have been fully supportive of that process. However, cancelling this week’s strike action whilst we await the outcome of their ballot would have allowed us to have given our guests certainty. The decision to go ahead with the action means that we will only be able to run limited services on November 11 and 12, causing disruption for many of our guests, to whom we apologise. To continue with the strike action pending the ballot is unnecessary, unreasonable and very damaging to our employees who will lose more money, our guests and the wider reputation of Scotland’s railway.'