Scotland business

RMT accuses ScotRail of 'dragging its heels' in dispute

Trainee driver
Image caption Guards are concerned about the introduction of additional driver-only trains

A union leader has accused ScotRail of "dragging its heels" in negotiations ahead of planned strike action.

The RMT said the train operator had turned down an offer to resume talks on Friday and offered to meet on Monday - hours before the strikes begins.

In a letter to the head of the ScotRail Alliance, RMT general secretary Mick Cash warned that rail bosses were "giving no priority" to the dispute.

ScotRail said it was making plans to meet the union as soon as possible.

In his letter to ScotRail's managing director Phil Verster, Mr Cash said union negotiators were on stand-by to discuss the dispute over the weekend.

'Talks not strikes'

The train operator's offer to attend Acas talks at 10:00 on Monday did not appear to be a "genuine offer to avert strike action at all", he added.

He said: "It is imperative that not only is your company seen to be making steps to resolve this dispute but that you are actually taking steps to listen to the concerns of your staff and the travelling public on such a safety critical matter that we are in dispute over."

However, in a statement ScotRail said: "Talks not strikes is the way forward. We're making arrangements to meet the RMT again as soon as possible."

The RMT announced the dates of a series of six planned strikes after saying a majority of its members had voted for strike action in a ballot with a 75% turnout.

The union said it had not received direct reassurances from the Abellio ScotRail franchise that driver-only services would not be extended.

The RMT said the planned strikes will be held between 00:01 and 23:59 on:

  • Tuesday 21 June
  • Thursday 23 June
  • Saturday 25 June and Sunday 26 June
  • Sunday 3 July
  • Sunday 10 July
  • Sunday 17 July.

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