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 5 per cent 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 Saturday 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.

“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.”

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