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GOVERNMENT contractor Serco was slammed today for its “disgraceful” approach to industrial relations as the train operator saw its workers vote overwhelmingly for strike action.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers’ union (RMT) hit out at the outsourcing giant over the safety and wellbeing of workers on the Caledonian Sleeper service and the company’s “refusal to negotiate.”
RMT is in dispute with the firm over a lack of berths for rest periods and the company’s failure to address the fatigue brought on by shifts that can stretch to almost 16 hours.
In a ballot of RMT members that closed on Tuesday, more than 80 per cent voted for strike action.
The union says that Serco had accepted the need for adequate berths to be provided to allow uninterrupted rest, but that the provision was removed as pandemic restrictions were lifted and sales began to recover.
RMT Scotland organiser Mick Hogg told the Star: “We’ve said from the outset we need more berths to be provided in order for our people to get more rest and downtime.
“Serco’s response has been the reverse. They’re putting profit before staff safety, more interested in selling berths than concerned about health, safety and welfare.
“That’s unacceptable as far as we’re concerned.”
Serco was approached by the Star for comment.
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