Train strikes in Scotland are to go ahead next week after a union representing ScotRail workers rejected the latest pay offer.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union refused the revised deal after talks on Thursday, describing the new 5% offer as “a kick in the teeth”.
It comes after an undisclosed deal was offered on Tuesday, and a few weeks after a previous 5% pay rise offer was also rejected.
ScotRail warned of “significant disruption” to services with the industrial action set to go ahead on Monday.
Due to the number of staff members striking, it will have to run “very limited” services on just three lines on the day.
Trains will be limited to 7.30am to 6.30pm between Milngavie and Edinburgh via Bathgate (two an hour) and one train an hour between Glasgow and both Lanark and Larkhall.
The strike action is separate from the RMT’s dispute with Network Rail, whose staff will walk out this weekend as part of a dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.
Mick Hogg, RMT Scottish organiser, said: “RMT today have rejected the ScotRail revised pay offer.
“The 5% goes no where near the cost of living crisis and constitutes a pay cut, not acceptable to RMT members. Enough is enough.
“RMT members are not prepared to sit back and watch the bosses get richer at the expense of the workers who deliver for ScotRail…the 5% is a kick in the teeth, therefore we want more.
“If we don’t get more we will strike until we win or until someone says, ‘if it’s good enough for the bosses it’s good enough for the workers’.”
In a heated message to Nicola Sturgeon, Mr Hogg added: “Our message to the First Minister is as follows: Get real and stop the pissing about, it’s your annual conference in Aberdeenshire this weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, therefore no delegates will travel by train up to Aberdeen, and no delegates will travel home by train.
“Get it sorted as it’s under your watch.”
Mr Hogg said RMT remains available for talks to continue.
Scottish Tory transport spokesperson Graham Simpson responded to the news, saying passengers “are at their wits’ ends” and “sick and tired of these strikes”.
“The SNP spent most of the summer trying and failing to dodge responsibility for disruptive ScotRail strike action, and now the militant RMT union is refusing to resolve this latest dispute,” he said.
“All of which only means more misery for ordinary rail travellers and struggling Scottish businesses.
“The SNP need to learn that when they nationalise a service, the buck stops with them. The RMT need to stop this selfish and irresponsible campaign and get back round the negotiating table.”
Meanwhile, Alba Party general secretary Chris McEleny responded showing his support for RMT members.
“I send my solidarity to RMT members who will take part in industrial action on Monday,” he said.
“Trade union members are on the front line reflecting the hopes and aspirations of working people across the country in winning better pay and conditions for everyone.”
He added: “I urge the Scottish Government to make an improved, acceptable and negotiated offer, so that workers across Scotland can stand with them in demanding that the Westminster Government enacts policies that better the lives of working people as opposed to tax cuts for the rich funded by the poor.”
Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s head of customer operations, said: “We’re really disappointed that the dispute with the RMT has reached this outcome, given the strength of the improved pay offer ScotRail made.
“This strike action does nothing for the railway’s recovery at this fragile time.
“It will severely impact our customers and it will also cost our staff through lost wages.
“Due to the large number of ScotRail staff who are members of the RMT, ScotRail customers should expect significant disruption to services on Monday, 10 October, as we won’t be able to operate the vast majority of our services.
“We’re advising customers to seek alternative means of transport and to only travel if they really need to on Monday, 10 October.
“We remain open to resolving this dispute.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We absolutely respect the democratic right of union members to take industrial action, be that in Scotland or elsewhere, and we know there have been constructive discussions between ScotRail and the Scottish representatives of RMT members – unlike negotiations elsewhere in the UK at present.
“So it is really disappointing that Scottish members are being denied the opportunity to vote on a new Scottish deal.
“We call on the RMT National Executive to suspend the ScotRail strike action in favour of a members’ referendum on the revised pay offer – an offer which is self-funded, fair and affordable.
“ScotRail workers should be given the opportunity to decide for themselves.
“In accepting this deal, one similar to that already enjoyed by members in other unions in Scotland, many railway staff would be better off at a time of increasing pressures on household budgets. Ultimately, we want to work with the trade unions to make Scotland’s railway a success for its staff, its users and the wider communities that it serves.”
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