New rail strike dates confirmed

Edinburgh UK Jul 16 2016; Scotrail strike picket line at Waverley Station credit steven scott taylor / J P License
Edinburgh UK Jul 16 2016; Scotrail strike picket line at Waverley Station credit steven scott taylor / J P License

Rail union RMT today (Monday) confirmed new dates in the campaign of industrial action over the extension of Driver Only Operation and Driver Controlled operation on ScotRail.

The additional days of strike action are as follows: Sunday, July 24, 00.01am-11.59pm; and Sunday, July 31, 00.01am-11.59pm.

The new dates follow a series of rock-solid strikes across Scotland, including over this weekend, which have still not produced any movement on the core issues at the heart of the dispute.

As a result, the union executive has taken a further report from negotiators and have decided that there is no option but to move forward with a new programme of industrial action.

RMT’s policy is for no extension of DOO on any route or service and for the guard to be in full operational control of the power operated doors. Furthermore, RMT has made it clear that the union is totally opposed to any proposals for extending DOO, reducing or abolishing the safety role of the guard in the operation of the doors.

RMT continues to apply pressure to the Scottish Government to drag their Dutch-owned contractors, Abellio/ScotRail, to the negotiating table as the safety and accessibility risks of moving to a de-staffed, faceless railway across Scotland become clearer by the day.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “The entire trade union movement stands shoulder to shoulder with the ScotRail staff fighting for the basic principles of rail safety who once again showed their resilience and determination over the weekend in the latest phase of industrial action.

“Despite this series of rock-solid strikes it is extraordinary that Abellio/ScotRail continue to ignore the strength of feeling amongst their staff over the extension of DOO. That disgraceful and cavalier approach to jobs and safety on Scotland’s railways now leaves us with no choice but to put on additional strike dates.

“The workforce knows only too well that 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. ‎That is a lethal gamble with basic rail safety. We have had fantastic support from the travelling public for our action as passengers know full well that this strike is all about their safety.

“The union remains available for serious and meaningful talks.”