Disruption as ScotRail conductor strikes enter fifth weekend

Conductors are locked in a row over a lack of extra cash for working rest days.

Disruption as ScotRail conductor strikes enter fifth weekend iStock

ScotRail services have been severely disrupted owing to a fifth consecutive weekend of strikes by conductors in a dispute over overtime payments.

Conductors are locked in a row over a lack of extra cash for working rest days, a benefit enjoyed by other staff grades such as drivers, and have staged walkouts on the past five Sundays.

Rail union RMT said Netherlands-headquartered rail operator Abellio was blocking talks and “lining its own pockets at staff and taxpayer expense in the dying months of their franchise”.

ScotRail is being brought under public ownership next year.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The resilience and determination of our members in this fight is a credit to the entire trade union movement.

“Abellio bosses continue to frustrate any move to talks and are quite happy to cancel services, pocket their fees and milk the franchise dry while the‎ frontline staff are told there’s no money for a fair deal.

“RMT is now focusing on ratcheting up the pressure on the political leadership in Scotland for an intervention that will pile pressure on Transport Scotland and Abellio to end this pay scandal on their watch.”

Earlier this month, ticket examiners also voted in favour of strikes in the middle of the walkouts being staged by the conductors.

That industrial action is due to commence next Sunday.

Earlier this month, Phil Campbell, ScotRail head of customer operations, said: “When we are on the cusp of safely welcoming customers back on to Scotland’s railway as lockdown restrictions ease, strike action over increased overtime payments is completely wrong for staff and customers.

“ScotRail is currently facing the most significant crisis in its history.

“At a time when we need everyone to work together to rebuild and create a more sustainable railway for the future, the actions of the RMT bosses are reckless.”

Several services on key routes will be cancelled as a result of the conductor action, including:

  • Aberdeen: Glasgow/Edinburgh, Inverurie/Inverness, Perth/Dundee.
  • Edinburgh: Inverness/Aberdeen, Inverkeithing/Glenrothes/Kirkcaldy/Perth/Dundee, Stirling/Dunblane, Tweedbank, North Berwick, Glasgow Central via Shotts.
  • Glasgow: Edinburgh via Falkirk High, Anniesland, Stirling/Alloa/Dunblane/Perth/Dundee, Inverness/Aberdeen, Cumbernauld, Alloa, Barrhead/Kilmarnock/Dumfries/Carlisle, Stranraer, Crainlarich/Oban/Fort William/Mallaig.
  • Inverness: Aberdeen/Edinburgh/Glasgow, Kyle of Lochalsh/Wick.