Rail strikes to go ahead in Glasgow during Cop26, union says

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Rail strikes will go ahead as planned during crucial climate talks, the RMT union has confirmed – effectively shutting down Scotland’s train services at a time when thousands of people plan to travel to Glasgow.

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Scottish workers will strike from 1 to 12 November to coincide with the Cop26 summit which opens on 31 October.

Some of the world’s biggest names, including the Queen, Joe Biden, Pope Francis and Sir David Attenborough, are set to be in talks.

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Many of those in attendance, including John Kerry and Greta Thunberg, will be inclined to avoid using the cars.

After months of Sunday’s strike, RMT members voted last week in favor of further action in their dispute over pay and conditions.

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The union has formally rejected a 4.7 per cent, two-year wage deal, which Scotland described as “very reasonable”.

Earlier this week the TSSA union, which represents conductors in Scotland’s train operators and managers in revenue teams, said it would no longer participate in industrial action after accepting a better pay offer.

RMT Secretary General Mick Lynch confirmed that strike action would proceed as planned during Cop26, accusing Scottrale of “failing to be serious” in negotiations with the union.

He said: “Today was a golden opportunity for Scotrell to make serious progress in negotiations, but instead he offered no results, and as a result our action throughout Cop26 proceeded as planned.”

Mr Lynch had previously urged Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to intervene personally in the dispute.

A spokesman for Transport Scotland, the Scottish government’s transport agency, said it was disappointing that the RMT had not given its members a pay proposal ballot.

The union had rejected the offer of 4.7 per cent as it would mean that workers are waiving off some of the existing terms and conditions.

Ian McConnell, Chief Operating Officer for Scotland, said: “I am disappointed and incredibly disappointed that RMT representatives have declined our latest offer.

“The RMT leadership, despite saying that the matter which only worked on sabbaticals needed to be resolved, has now shifted the goalposts without consulting its members. It can only indicate that they are not serious about going ahead and delivering a successful COP26.

“Time is running out to reach an agreement and, despite a pay offer of 4.7 per cent over two years, £300 pay for COP26, and an increase in working days off, it appears that the RMT boss will be working during COP26. intent on sabotaging the role of Scotland’s railways.

“With industrial action threatened, we are continuing to develop contingency plans to provide a core service for the duration of the summit.”

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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