ScotRail strike: Union says firm ‘threatened staff’

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Passengers in Fife are facing delays after ScotRail was hit by a strike over who should drive trains.

Union TSSA has warned began indefinite industrial action today, which is affecting trains in the Edinburgh area, and will have a knock-on effect on Fife.

Driver Team Managers (DTMs) are in dispute after they say they were instructed to drive trains to make up for driver shortages, on top of their normal jobs.

They say this will leave the DTM role uncovered and cause more problems for ScotRail, and their passengers, down the line as DTMs carry out driver training.

TSSA Leader Manuel Cortes said: “ScotRail know that from Thursday, trains will be cancelled as our members exercise their lawful right to take part in industrial action but rather than engage in meaningful negotiations, they chose to issue threats to our members. They should be hanging their heads in shame as this kind of behaviour has no place in 21st Century industrial relations.

“This is entirely a dispute of their making. Firstly, by failing to recruit enough drivers, in an effort to make a quick profit. When ScotRail realised they’d need our members to make up for their shortfall they chose to impose changes on our members rather than negotiate with them.

“Every step of the way we have asked them to engage in meaningful negotiations and at every step they have sought to cut us out. They are a disgrace to our railways.

“We wish it hadn’t come to this. Our union has always campaigned for ScotRail passengers to be given a decent, reliable service. But ScotRail’s bungling management have brought us to this point.

“At this point, Transport Secretary Matheson should step in and order Abellio ScotRail to get back round the negotiating table with us. We are willing to meet with them, anytime, anywhere and we are willing to suspend our action, just as soon as they are willing to guarantee our members won’t be forced to drive trains.”

A ScotRail spokesperson said: ““We have had numerous meetings with TSSA representatives and we are absolutely committed to engaging with them to reach a resolution.

“ScotRail values each and every member of staff and their hard work to deliver a high standard of service for our customers. Any suggestion of bullying is completely untrue and it is very disappointing that the TSSA would wilfully misrepresent our efforts and mislead their members in this way.

“The dispute itself affects only seven people in a company with over 5,000 employees, so any industrial action will have absolutely no impact on services.”

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