Posted 12th March 2021 | 5 Comments

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.’

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Neil Palmer, Waterloo

    Some of those guards have probably never caught anyone without a ticket. After closing the doors they're off to the back cab again with their newspaper and tea until the next station.

  • Steve Gonzalez, Crosville-sur-Scie

    All the usual Daily Mail reading commentators on here I see.

    Totally missing the point about the real wastage in public money being flushed down the toilet on the 300x per franchise of [insert-random-name-generator]-manager on £80K per year which the taxpayer pays for. Why do we need a "Social Media Engagement Policy Study Executive" to monitor customer feedback for an entirely state subsidised railway?

    If these "oh-so-troublesome guards" didn't on average across the board, pay for themselves in ticket sales, the three above people might have a point. In fact, the tickets sold by guards currently cross subsidise the wages of these thousands of non-essential office bods.

    I'll bet many of those guard-haters were caught without valid tickets at some point. "Trains should be free" will be next.

  • Kenneth Harper, Kelso

    Anyone who has travelled on a Scotrail service in the past year will note that Conductors only shut the doors and are available if the train crashes no ticket inspections or sales. So the job is a lot easier. Also who in Scotrail authorises any overtime to Drivers or Conductors as they are running at least 25% less trains. Get your act together Management ! as taxpayers are running out of sympathy. A

  • Neil Palmer, Waterloo

    Typical disgusting action one would expect of the RMT. How's this for an offer" Get back to work and be thankful you still have a job, or with 90% less traffic maybe ScotRail can do with 90% less guards. ScotRail is partially to blame here for caving in to blackmail from the RMT on driver controlled operation of doors on their new trains. That battle is coming sooner or later.

  • Gordon S Valentine, Stamford

    It's time to get driverless trains!!!! Myself like millions of others lost a job!! Really can't stand the RMT.