ScotRail faces further chaos as Network Rail staff vote for strike

With a third of rail journeys already cut over drivers' pay dispute, industrial action could see even more services disrupted.

ScotRail faces further chaos as Network Rail staff vote for strike Network Rail Scotland
Network Rail owns, operates and develops Britain's railway infrastructure, including Scotland's train lines.

Scotland’s train services face further chaos as Network Rail staff vote for strike action.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at the railway operator backed launching a campaign of industrial action on Tuesday night.

Network Rail owns, operates and develops Britain’s railway infrastructure, including Scotland’s train lines.

Scottish workers, along with colleagues from 15 train operators including LNER, Transpennine Express and Avanti West Coast, are waiting for union leaders to decide when to call strikes that will bring huge parts of the network to a standstill.

It comes as an “emergency temporary timetable” axing a third of train journeys across Scotland came into effect this week due to a dispute with ScotRail drivers.

Advertisement

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Today’s overwhelming endorsement by railway workers is a vindication of the union’s approach and sends a clear message that members want a decent pay rise, job security and no compulsory redundancies.

“Our NEC (National Executive Committee) will now meet to discuss a timetable for strike action from mid-June, but we sincerely hope ministers will encourage the employers to return to the negotiating table and hammer out a reasonable settlement with the RMT.”

Trade union Aslef, representing ScotRail drivers, returned to the negotiating table with newly-nationalised train operator on Tuesday.

ScotRail has faced backlash from customers, with football fans and gig-goers now unable to travel home by train when events finish for the foreseeable future.

Advertisement

But the rail operator has a plan to prevent travel chaos ahead of Scotland’s World Cup play-off on June 1, transport minister Jenny Gilruth has said.

Around 50,000 football fans will descend on Hampden Park in Glasgow in just over a week as the national team face Ukraine in one of their most important matches for 20 years.

Drivers are refusing to work overtime and on rest days because of an unresolved pay dispute after they rejected a 2.2% increase offer, with the option of a revenue share agreement which would have taken the package to five per cent.

With the Tartan Army expected to travel from across Scotland, Gilruth said she is keen for a resolution to be reached between all parties.

In an update from ScotRail on Friday, Gilruth said she has had assurances “that plans are in place and they will publicise details of this in due course, as they do will all major events”.