Rail misery for passengers as ScotRail staff stage weekend walkout

All routes will be affected on Saturday after members of the RMT union prepare to take strike action.

Only three train routes running on Saturday as ScotRail staff commence strike action with RMT iStock

Passengers have been warned of major disruption on Scotland’s railways this weekend as railway workers go on strike.

Around 2,000 ScotRail employees – including conductors, ticket examiners, hospitality and station staff – who are part of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out on Saturday.

Members turned down the latest pay offer tabled by the Scottish Government, after it “refused to offer a cost of living pay increase” in talks on Thursday.

ScotRail said the latest offer would have seen the lowest paid staff receive a basic pay increase of almost 7.5%.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our focus in this dispute is the rail employers who have yet to make an offer that will create the conditions for a negotiated settlement. 

He called upon new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to “unshackle the rail industry” in order to reach a settlement with union members, and promised to “vigorously” pure the campaign until a desirable agreement is reached.

Which routes will be disrupted?

There will be no service throughout the ScotRail network, except on three routes linking Milngavie with Glasgow and Edinburgh, and connecting Glasgow and South Lanarkshire.

Trains will only operate between 7.30am and 6.30pm and the rail operator advised travellers to consider alternative arrangements.

Rugby fans heading to Scotland’s first autumn international at Murrayfield in Edinburgh have been urged to avoid taking the train, as the strike action will cause “significant disruption”.

Saturday will be the union’s second day of strike action this month over pay, following industrial action on October 10.

It also comes amid an overtime and rest day working ban by members of the RMT, as part of action short of a strike.

As a result, passengers have seen daily cancellations across the network since October 14, as the train operator requires staff to work rest days and overtime while recruitment continues.

Phil Campbell, ScotRail head of customer operations, said: “Further strike action has a damaging effect on railway’s recovery at a time when we should be encouraging more people to travel.

“Instead, our customers are being severely impacted and our staff losing out through lost wages.”

He added: “We remain open to resolving this dispute.”

ScotRail services running on Saturday from 7.30am:

  • Milngavie – Edinburgh Waverley via Glasgow Queen Street Low Level (half-hourly service)
  • Glasgow Central – Lanark (hourly service)
  • Glasgow Central – Larkhall (hourly service)

The final services will depart before 6.30pm.

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