Scotrail services disrupted as RMT strike reaches day two

Alice Muir

Commuters face further disruption to rail services as members of the RMT union go on strike

SCOTRAIL services have been disrupted as an RMT strike continues this week.

Many services are running less frequently and replacement bus services have been made available.

The action follows the breakdown of talks with ScotRail on 6 July with regards to growing concern about the operation of more trains without guards. Railway workers began the latest strike on Sunday after previously taking action back in June.

RMT accuse Scotrail of playing fast and loose with passenger safety as strike enters second day

On driver-only-operation trains, the driver is asked to close the doors at stations instead of a conductor. These operations are common on the ScotRail network, particularly on suburban rail line

ScotRail has said it will ensure a second member of staff is scheduled to be on board every train to assist the driver in emergencies. However, the company has accepted there are occasions when a ticket examiner does not turn up for work that a train could run with only a driver and Scotrail has said it has union agreement for this, but only in circumstances where there is no other option.

RMT announces strike days on Scotrail trains over driver only extention fears

The union believes the absence of dedicated guards makes trains less safe. However, Scotrail told The Telegraph that “59 per cent of people who travel by train in Scotland do so on a service that safely operates in this manner, and that this has been the case, with the full agreement of the trade unions, for 30 years”.

Phil Verster, managing director of Scotrail, also told The Telegraph: “There would still be a second person scheduled to be on services following the introduction of the faster, longer, greener trains from late next year.”

RMT General secretary Mick Cash told The BBC: “It is extraordinary that Abellio/Scotrail continue to ignore the strength of feeling amongst their staff over the extension of DOO (driver-only-operated trains) and that they are still trying to bypass the normal negotiating machinery.

“That disgraceful and cavalier approach to jobs and safety on Scotland's railways now leaves us with no choice but to move to a campaign of industrial action.

‎”The workforce know that any extension of DOO or DCO is a clear attack on our members hard earned terms and conditions. RMT members should not have to face the risk of their role and responsibilities being reduced and undermined.”

Passengers are advised to check the ScotRail strike information web page, which lists more than 20 disrupted services, before they travel.

Further strikes have been planned on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Picture courtesy of YouTube

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