ScotRail engineers plan strikes at Glasgow climate summit

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ScotRail engineers are planning strike action they say has the potential to severely disrupt travel to the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow next month, as unions accuse management of risking ‘national embarrassment’.

Unite said workers were left with no choice by Abellio ScotRail management’s failure to make what it called a significant wage offer despite repeated actions without a strike since September 24.

Scheduled 24-hour stops will take place on October 18-19 and November 1-2, 10-11 and 12-13, and will affect stations such as Glasgow Queen Street, Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley. Global leaders and activists are due to gather in Scotland for the UN climate summit from October 31.

Pat Mcilvogue, industrial manager of Unite, said: “The talks have been delayed and cynically used as a delaying tactic to avoid the national embarrassment of having a strike at the Cop26 climate change conference, which is being held in Glasgow. .

“We want the Scottish public to know that we have exhausted the process. Unite members did not strike in an attempt to wake Abellio ScotRail and acknowledge the storm they created, to no effect. From now on, strike action will seriously disrupt events and the Cop26 climate change conference because of this chaotic undertaking. “

There are lingering disputes over wages, lack of investment and service cuts, and the RMT is also voting on industrial action against ScotRail after a long dispute over driver pay.

On Monday Aslef, the RMT, TSSA and Unite issued a joint statement saying investing in Scottish Railways, valuing staff, expanding services and making train travel more affordable are key to meeting environmental goals.

Scottish Government Transport Secretary Graeme Dey told BBC Radio Scotland he was “actively pushing” for a resolution and that unions should “take a step back from some of the rhetoric dominating the agenda”.

He said: “I understand that later today the unions and ScotRail are getting together and a new offer is likely to be tabled. This is an issue that I hope the unions will take in the spirit in which it is made and consider resolving these differences.

A ScotRail spokesperson said: “We are seeing customers gradually returning to the Scottish Railway, but the scale of the financial situation ScotRail is facing is dramatic. We will continue to engage with the rail unions to find an agreement on wages and terms. “

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