Colin Smyth MSP
The Scottish Government must engage with unions in a meaningful way over a reasonable pay offer for rail staff, according to South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union recently rejected Government owned ScotRail’s latest pay offer and have vowed to keep fighting to secure a rise which covers the cost of living for their members.
ScotRail staff, including conductors and ticket office workers, were out on strike on Monday and Colin Smyth joined them on the picket line at Dumfries Station.
South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “Absolutely no one wants workers to go on strike, not the unions, not the staff and not the public.
“However, the cost of living crisis is real and workers should not be faced with the situation where they cannot afford to feed their families, despite working harder than ever.
“The situation is untenable, and I fully support those who have been forced to strike. It’s not acceptable that workers are being offered what is in effect a 5% pay cut at time inflation is running at 10%.
“The Scottish Government’s failure to engage with unions in a meaningful manner has led to this situation and Government owned ScotRail need to start negotiating a fair deal for their workers who help keep this country moving.
“With rail workers, posties and BT Openreach staff currently striking, teachers recently voting for industrial action, and nurses holding a ballot which I am sure will show a resounding yes in favour of action, workers at every level feel as if they are under attack and their pay and conditions are being undermined. I have never known such anger yet time and time again bosses are offering workers a pay cut rather than fair pay.”