Scottish Ministers call on UK Government to act now to avert rail strikes
Scottish Ministers have called on the UK Government to act immediately to bring an end to the dispute with RMT members at Network Rail.
The plea came as RMT members at Network Rail voted to reject the latest pay offer.
While this particular dispute does not involve ScotRail staff, it will have a major impact on services as the RMT planned action involves Network Rail staff in Scotland.
Jenny Gilruth, Minister for Transport said:
“While this is not a matter in which the Scottish Government has any locus – I urge the Secretary of State for Transport to take a different approach and work with the Trade Unions to secure a railway that benefits users, staff and taxpayers.
“In Scotland, we have maintained constructive discussions between ScotRail and the Scottish representatives of the RMT members. By doing so, we have settled our pay negotiations.
“Scotland has embraced the concept of fair work, so it is disheartening to see our own progressive activity in this regard being put at risk by the inevitable wider consequences of the UK Government’s ill thought out, hasty and hostile approach to industrial relations.
“We do not welcome UK Government plans for so-called radical rail reform agenda which have yet to be explained to Scottish Ministers in any detail, but which appear to be a guise for compulsory redundancies in the Network Rail workforce, including in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government remains committed to our long-standing policy of no compulsory redundancies. However, the last three Secretaries of State for Transport have failed to engage in any meaningful conversations on these matters – an approach that is quite unsatisfactory given the seriousness of this Network Rail dispute.
"We will continue to work collaboratively with the Trade Unions in Scotland to make public ownership of Scotland’s Railway a success”.
The RMT is expected to take strike action on Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Friday 16, Saturday 17 December, as well as Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4, Friday 5 and Saturday 7 January, across the Great Britain railway network. Furthermore, further strike action will take place as RMT members will be instructed not to book on from between 18.00 hours on December 24 through to 05.59 hours 27 December 2022