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RMT calls for further talks with ScotRail, but goes ahead with strikes

The RMT has offered to resume talks with ScotRail in the ongoing industrial dispute over the introduction of driver-operated only (DOO) services, but refused to call off strikes this weekend.

Attempts at talks between the two sides this week fell apart when RMT refused to call off the strikes, which went ahead on Tuesday and Thursday, causing serious disruption.

Further strikes are set to go ahead throughout the weekend, but the union invited ScotRail to talks at the independent conciliation service Acas on Monday and asked it to publicly confirm its attendance.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, said: “It's about time the company stopped the games and dirty tricks and got involved in ‎genuine and serious negotiations covering all the staff involved in this dispute.

“The union repeats its call for the Scottish government to get off the fence and drag their rail operators back to the table.”

In a letter to Cash, Phil Verster, managing director of ScotRail, said the company would not enter into talks until RMT called off the strikes.

“Once we get to talk about a proposal for our electric fleets, I can confirm that we will be willing to discuss how our conductors at the other depots could retain their competence, could retain their status, have job security and also retain their terms and conditions,” he said.

He invited RMT to talks, also on Monday morning, about a separate proposal, involving the role of conductors on diesel instead of electric services.

Cash said: “After months of playing games this latest stunt from ScotRail now attempts to split the staff involved in this dispute into separate groups. That is classic ‘divide and rule’ and makes a mockery of any serious attempt to get the talks process back underway.”

Services on routes including Edinburgh to North Berwick/ Dunbar, Glasgow Central to Inverness and Aberdeen to Inverness will be cancelled this weekend, and the RMT has also called further strikes on 3, 10 and 17 July.

ScotRail services are also suffering disruption this morning because of damage to the overhead electric wires between Newton Lanark and Uddingston.

For full information about the disruption to ScotRail services, click here.

(Image: RMT officials take part in a demonstration outside ScotRail headquarters in Glasgow on Monday, c. Andrew Mulligan from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

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