A union representing ScotRail workers has rejected the latest pay offer tabled by the national operator, paving the way for strike action this weekend.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union turned down the latest pay rise following talks on Thursday as the Scottish Government “refuses to offer a cost-of-living pay increase”.
ScotRail said the latest offer would have seen the lowest paid staff receive a basic pay increase of almost 7.5%.
RMT leaders confirmed it was now going ahead with strike action planned for Saturday, October 29.
They made a particular warning to rugby fans who are heading to Scotland’s first autumn international to avoid using the train as the strike action will cause “significant disruption”.
Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s head of customer operations, said: “Regrettably, we won’t be able to operate the vast majority of our services on Saturday October 29, and customers should expect significant disruption to services due to the large proportion of ScotRail staff who are members of the RMT trade union.
“We’re advising customers, including rugby fans intending to travel to Scotland’s first autumn international at Murrayfield, to seek alternative means of transport and to only travel by train if they really need to.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We absolutely respect the democratic right of union members to take industrial action and the continued constructive discussions between ScotRail and the Scottish representatives of the RMT members.
“This collaborative approach is distinct from that taken elsewhere in the UK, particularly on the issue of minimum service levels.
“That is why it is really disappointing that Scottish members are being denied the opportunity to vote on a new deal, one which would benefit lower paid ScotRail workers in particular.
“We once again call on the RMT National Executive to suspend the ScotRail strike action in favour of a members’ referendum on the revised pay deal. That is the best hope of getting this fair and affordable offer into people’s pay in time for Christmas.”
Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s head of customer operations, said: “It’s really disappointing that the RMT has refused to put this improved offer to its members so they can have a say.
“Further strike action has a damaging effect on the 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 are losing out through lost wages.”
Strike action by the union earlier this year left the majority of ScotRail’s services cancelled with just a handful of routes in the central belt and Scottish Borders operating.
Saturday will be the union’s second day of strike action this month over pay.
It follows industrial action on October 10.