ScotRail conductors vote to strike over pay

CONDUCTORS on ScotRail who belong to the RMT have voted to strike in a dispute over overtime pay.

The union has complained that conductors are paid less than drivers for working rest days, although an agreement between ScotRail and ASLEF for drivers to be paid extra for rest days has been extended from January to October.

The vote for industrial action was 353 in favour and 117 against on a turnout of 75 per cent, but ScotRail said it was ‘the wrong decision for staff and passengers’.

ScotRail operations director David Simpson said: ‘Strike action at a time of national crisis, when we have required emergency government support just to stay afloat, and when we benefit from a level of job security not enjoyed by other industries, is wrong. It will damage ScotRail’s credibility at a time when we need to attract people back to the railway when Covid-19 restrictions allow.

‘With passenger numbers down more than 90 per cent compared to the same time last year, it has never been more important for everyone in the railway to work together to build the best future for our industry.’

It is not yet known when any walkouts or other action might be staged.

RMT Scottish organiser Mick Hogg told the Scotsman: ‘This result will hopefully focus ScotRail and Transport Scotland to meet the RMT and make an offer, not only on pay but on rest day working, thus treating all employees fairly and equally. ScotRail calls itself an equal opportunity employer yet treat the majority differently.

Hopefully, this result gets ScotRail back to the negotiating table.’

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘Our members have delivered a resounding vote for action and ScotRail need to start taking this issue seriously and stop ignoring the anger amongst their workforce which is clearly reflected in this ballot.

‘The union’s executive will consider this mandate for action and take decisions on the next steps.’