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11 July 2019
ScotRail union threatens strike action

Image credit: Eddie

ScotRail union threatens strike action

ScotRail union members will vote on whether to take strike action after a “near complete breakdown of industrial relations”, the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) says.

The TSSA and ScotRail are bargaining over changes to driver team manager contracts, which the TSSA said forced managers to cover train driver shifts without negotiating with the union.

The trade union said ScotRail driver team managers would receive ballot papers this week to vote on whether they will strike, and members across “almost every other grade” at ScotRail could be balloted “in the very near future”.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said ScotRail had “systematically and deliberately excluded our union from talks”.

“We believe this is a cynical and deliberate attempt to undermine our union and deny our members their right to representation and a voice in their workplace,” he said.

“Our members are rightly furious. They are ready and determined to vote for strike action and I will have no hesitation in sending out the ballot papers if ScotRail don’t come back to the negotiating table with us.

“ScotRail wouldn’t need to force driver train managers to cover shifts if they had employed enough drivers in the first place. As always Abellio are trying to do things on the cheap and it’s blowing up in their face.

“TSSA has long said that ScotRail needs to be run in the public sector. If Abellio think that they can shut us up by cutting us out of negotiations, then they have another think coming.”

Cortes threatened: “Transport Minister Michael Matheson needs to intervene before ScotRail services grind to a complete halt.”

The TSSA said the changes to driver team manager contracts had knock-on implications for other workers, “but ScotRail has ignored requests from the union to negotiate over those implications”.

“At the same time TSSA was excluded from negotiations about rest day working payments for staff in station grade, travel shop, operational supervisor, clerical and engineering grades,” the union said.

A ScotRail spokesperson said "any industrial action would have a minimal impact to services".

He said ScotRail was in the process of recruiting qualified and trainee train drivers, and "while this recruitment and training takes place, we have agreed that our driver team managers will drive trains to avoid cancellations".

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