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RMT demands summit with Scotland’s Transport Secretary to resolve ScotRail disputes

THE RMT union has demanded an urgent summit with Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson in a bid to break the deadlock in pay equality disputes with Abellio ScotRail.

As conductors and ticket examiners prepared to take to the picket lines again tomorrow, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch wrote to Mr Matheson urging him to take ownership of disputes that the union says only the Scottish government can resolve.

The union points out that since March 2020 the Scottish government has been responsible for running the ScotRail franchise under Abellio’s emergency measures agreement (EMA), but ministers have made no effort to end the impasse.

Mr Lynch said: “The Scottish government is holding the reins of the ScotRail franchise and only the Scottish government can resolve these disputes.

“Instead of backing the bosses of a failed company and prolonging these disputes into the summer, it should be backing the rail worker heroes who have kept our railway moving during the pandemic.

“All RMT ScotRail ticket examiner and conductor members are seeking is equality with other grades.

“It is a kick in the teeth for these front-line essential workers that, weeks into the disputes, the Scottish government continues to wash its hands of its responsibilities and has taken no action to try and negotiate a resolution.

“It is high time the Scottish government stepped up to its responsibilities and met with RMT to agree a fair resolution to these disputes.”

Transport Scotland said that the matter was one for negotiation between RMT and ScotRail and that no additional funding was available.

• The RMT executive is set to announce strike dates in a separate dispute on the Serco-run Caledonian Sleeper service after members voted by an 85 per cent margin for action against attempts to impose a pay freeze.

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