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SCOTLAND’S train drivers could strike for the first time in more than 20 years following a “derisory” pay offer from ScotRail, Aslef warned today.
The train drivers’ union met with the firm’s management to push for an increase that addressed the growing cost-of-living crisis, but the offer it received was “well short of what drivers expected,” Aslef said.
The company, which returned to public ownership on April 1, is taking “no account” of skyrocketing inflation, despite members’ sacrifices throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, union organiser Kevin Lindsay said.
“Scotland’s train drivers did not make the decision to consider industrial action lightly – indeed we have not had a single pay dispute with Scotland’s railway operators for 21 years,” he said.
“Yet, just one month into the Scottish government’s stewardship of ScotRail, we are being left with no option but to consider action.
“Scotrail and the Scottish government must recognise that these key workers deserve a decent pay rise. They should return to the negotiating table with a much fairer deal.”
ScotRail chief operating officer Joanne Maguire said: “It is very disappointing that we find ourselves at this stage with Aslef, despite ongoing talks and a very good offer being made.
“We are still trying to recover from the pandemic. With customer numbers 35 per cent below pre-Covid levels, it remains a very challenging time.
“We remain open and committed to further discussions in order to resolve the dispute and move forward together to provide the safest, greenest, and most reliable railway we can for Scotland.”
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