Strike ballot of ScotRail staff in pay row begins

Drivers, station staff and other ScotRail workers are to be asked to vote on whether to strike in a row over pay.

A strike ballot has been launched
A strike ballot has been launched

As previously reported in The Scotsman, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will ballot nearly 2,500 staff across Scotland on a strike and other forms of industrial action.

It said lengthy negotiations have failed to produce an offer on pay that meets the “very reasonable” demands of the workforce.

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The ballot opens on Tuesday and closes on December 8

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “After a long period of talks aimed at reaching a negotiated settlement on ScotRail pay, RMT reps are angry and frustrated that the company have failed to recognise the value of all its staff across the workforce who work equally hard on the front line during these dangerous times.”

Alex White, ScotRail chief operating officer, said: “The RMT’s push for industrial action at a time of national crisis is wrong. ScotRail is proud to provide well-paid and highly skilled jobs for more than 5,200 people.”

He added: “While other transport operators across the country have cut thousands of jobs, not a single member of ScotRail’s permanent staff has lost their job, been placed on furlough or had any cuts to base salaries.”

ScotRail said passenger numbers remain 80 per cent down year-on-year because of lockdown restrictions, while at the height of the lockdown earlier this year, passenger numbers and revenue dropped by 95 per cent.

The company said the average base salary for its train cleaners is more than £27,000, with some earning more than £36,000, while the average conductor base salary is more than £32,000.