Staff at Perth rail depot will strike this week in an ongoing dispute over bullying and harassment claims.
Employees will be on strike on Tuesday and Wednesday, with members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) saying Scotrail’s dignity and respect policy has been breached.
Staff filed a collective grievance against a manager at the end of last year. The manager was accused of bullying, harassment and intimidation over a two-year period.
The manager was found guilty and then dismissed but RMT claims he was later relocated to another site.
Scotrail say both sides reached a “satisfactory outcome” when the complaint was resolved and did not confirm or deny the employee’s move, saying they do not discuss individual members of staff.
Breakdown in communication
RMT say they want Scotrail to speak with them and open up “meaningful dialogue” to give clarity on the dignity and respect policy.
The strike involves maintenance staff at ScotRail’s rail engineering depot in Perth. The depot is where trains are refuelled and stored overnight.
Rail services will not be affected.
Mick Hogg, Scotland organiser for RMT, said: “The members are determined to send a signal to Scotrail that dignity and respect applies to everyone, not just when it suits.
“We’re determined to actually get a resolution to the issue that ensures going forward that anyone found guilty of breaching the policy has the appropriate sanction applied.”
Perth workers were on strike for 24 hours last month, but RMT claimed that Scotrail would still not engage in talks. Another 48-hour strike is planned for the end of this month.
It comes amid a series of Sunday strikes by Scotrail staff, causing disruption to trains.
“Strike action is a last resort when all other avenues have failed,” said RMT general secretary Mick Lynch.
“If the companies will not sit round the table and engage in serious talks aimed at resolving each of these disputes, then the politicians responsible for issuing the franchises need to intervene and force their hand.
“RMT will be proudly backing our members who have kept Scotland’s railways running throughout the pandemic in their fights for workplace justice.”
Syeda Ghufran, ScotRail engineering director, said: “I am disappointed with this strike action, despite an exhaustive investigation having taken place, in cooperation with the RMT.
“At a time when the railway faces the most serious financial crisis in its history, we need to work together to recover ScotRail, get passengers using the trains again, and build a more sustainable operation. Strike action is divisive and wrong.”
Serco workers on the Caledonian sleeper will also be striking from tomorrow over a pay freeze. They will strike for eleven days.
Union members claim the company have blocked attempts to resolve the pay dispute.