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Fresh strike wave could disrupt Euros and Edinburgh Festival, says RMT

WORKERS fighting for pay equality on Abellio Scotrail are to launch a fresh wave of strike action that threatens to disrupt travel to major events in Scotland.

Euro football fixtures at Hampden Park, the Edinburgh Festival and even the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November could face disruption unless Scottish ministers and Abellio bosses face up to their responsibilities, the RMT union said today.

Industrial relations with the company have sunk to an all-time low, as the long-running disputes over rest-day working have been compounded by the absence of any response to the union’s 2021 pay claim – which RMT says is also the result of ministers’ failure to give Abellio the green light to talk.

Conductors and ticket examiners are due to take further strike action tomorrow, with more dates in the pipeline.

Repeating his call for a summit meeting with ministers, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “It is extraordinary that the political leadership in Scotland who hold a direct brief for transport have allowed industrial relations on their railways to collapse.

“They need to intervene and they need to intervene now.

“The Scottish government, Transport Scotland and Scotrail should all be focused on repairing our damaged industrial relations, as passengers will be relying on good public transport services for the major events scheduled as we move out of lockdown in the months ahead.

“RMT is repeating the call for top level summit talks to sort out this industrial relations shambles on Scotland’s railways.”

Pressed for a response from Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, Transport Scotland would only repeat its position that “collective bargaining rests with the operator and unions concerned,” and that there was no additional funding available.

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