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‘Totally needless’ ScotRail strike to go ahead after talks break down

Strikes on ScotRail tomorrow are due to go ahead after last-minute talks failed to reach a resolution.

In a statement ScotRail accused the RMT of sabotaging the talks by refusing to cancel the strikes, which the union announced following a dispute over the expansion of driver-operated only (DOO) services.

ScotRail also accused RMT of misleading the public on a number of key issues, adding that DOO is approved by the ORR and is already being used safely on 59% of journeys in Scotland.

Phil Verster, managing director of ScotRail, said: “This strike is totally needless. The RMT have refused point blank to talk to us about how we modernise and improve Scotland’s railway. Instead they have hidden behind a national policy that says that nothing must ever change.

“Tens of thousands of our customers will be disrupted and hundreds of our own people will be hit financially as a result of their intransigence.”

Verster also said that conductors will not lose their jobs as a result of the reforms and that the new, longer trains being used on ScotRail services from next year will still have a second member of staff on board.

ScotRail services will only be able to carry 72% of their normal passenger load during tomorrow’s 24-hour strike.

Replacement bus services will run on a number of lines, including from Edinburgh to North Berwick/ Dunbar, Glasgow Queen Street to Stirling/ Dunblane, and Glasgow Central to Inverness.

For full information on the disruptions, click here.

Unless a resolution is reached, RMT has scheduled five more strikes over June and July, and an overtime ban will also be in place on certain dates.

RMT is also calling for further strikes in a similar industrial dispute with Southern.

Mick Cash, general secretary of RMT, accused ScotRail of having “sabotaged” the talks.

“There is a very real threat to passengers of watering down and wiping out the safety critical role of the guard on these ScotRail services,” he added.

A spokesperson for Acas, which is chairing the talks, said: “Today's talks at Acas have been adjourned with no date set to resume.”

(Image c. Danny Lawson from PA Images)

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Neil Palmer   21/06/2016 at 03:13

The ONLY thing that's a threat to passengers is Mick Cash and the RMT's 19th century opinion of how the railway must be run for all eternity. There's a guarantee of no loss of jobs, so if the RMT isn't happy with that maybe it's time for the other extreme, just declare ALL services will run as DOO from a specific date, and if the RMT and it's members don't want to participate in the new on board services manager role then fire ALL the guards and run all services as DOO anyway, then the RMT's day of blackmailing everyone will be over. And for each strike they call, move up the deadline to begin DOO operation by another week or two.

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