After a day of disruption caused by a rail worker strike, Sunday train passengers have been warned to expect “significant disruption.”
ScotRail is only operating a limited schedule on August 20 due to a strike by Network Rail employees represented by the Rail, Maritime, and Transport union (RMT) over a long-standing dispute regarding compensation, working conditions, and other issues.
The action on Saturday comes after workers walked out on Thursday.
Although ScotRail employees are not directly involved in the dispute, the company has warned that the RMT action in Scotland will have a significant impact on the train operator’s ability to provide services.
From 7:30 am to 6:30 pm on Saturday, only a few services were available in the Central Belt, Fife, and the Borders.
The head of ScotRail’s service delivery, David Simpson, made the following statement:
â “We know this will be frustrating for ScotRail customers, but it is very unfortunate to see such widespread disruption across the entire Great Britain rail network.”
We regret that during the period of strike action the vast majority of our services will be unable to run due to the actions of the RMT members of Network Rail.
ScotRail has issued a warning that Sunday will see “significant disruption” as a result of the reopening of Network Rail signal boxes at various times throughout the day.
It said that services will start later than normal due to this.
Today’s normal train commute will be difficult because of a strike. Do your research before you leave; plan ahead by visiting https://t.co/iUvjucj1jO — Scotland’s Network Rail (@NetworkRailSCOT) August 20th, 2022:
Train companies and Network Rail across the country were negatively impacted by a 24-hour strike on Saturday by members of the RMT, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), and Unite.
After hearing that the current offer on the table would be accepted by rail workers if the union put it to a vote, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch strongly refuted such claims.
When asked on BBC Breakfast on a Saturday morning whether he has any evidence to the contrary, Mr. Lynch responded, “Absolutely, I did a meeting on Wednesday evening the night before the strike of 14,000 RMT members in an online rally, and our members are out today demonstrating.”
Our membership mood is always spot-on because I talk to thousands of them every week, and we consult with at least 600 Network Rail representatives every week.
The RMT has accused rail chiefs of endangering the public by their claims that Network Rail is attempting to impose mandatory redundancies and cuts to maintenance work.
According to Gordon Martin, RMT’s regional organizer in Scotland, members have shown up in large numbers at picket lines, with members of other trade unions expressing solidarity and the public showing “phenomenal support.”
Speaking to the press, he said, “Meaningful talks are the only way this dispute will be resolved and it’s time the Government allowed Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group the means required to reach resolution with RMT negotiators and find an outcome which benefits the workforce and the people of Scotland and the rest of Britain.”
Mr. Lynch has been urged by Grant Shapps, the Secretary of Transport, to put the Network Rail pay offer to a vote of the employees.
The Transport Secretary wrote to Mr. Lynch on Saturday afternoon, saying that the railway operator’s proposed 8% pay raise over two years is “fair,” and that the members should be given a chance to settle the dispute through negotiations.
Network Rail CEO Andrew Haines said, “It saddens me that we are again having to ask passengers to stay away from the railway due to unnecessary strike action, when we should be helping them enjoy their summers.”
As the CEO of TSSA put it, “we have made a good and fair offer, but our unions are refusing to let our employees have a say, and unfortunately that means more disruption on the rail network.”
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