Transport minister Graeme Dey says he has “no idea” why rail workers plan to strike during COP26 since a pay offer is on the table.
The Glasgow climate conference in just over a fortnight will be disrupted by rail strikes after members of the RMT union backed industrial action.
ScotRail workers will strike from November 1 to 12 amid a dispute over pay and conditions.
Mr Dey told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland that the RMT’s ballot for industrial action “predates” a “very fair” pay offer being made to the unions.
The transport minister said he had “no idea” why strike action is still going ahead and urged the RMT to “ballot their members afresh” to accept the offer.
When asked if it was the final offer on the table, Mr Dey said: “It is the best offer that can be made in the circumstances.
“We would encourage them to accept this offer.”
Sunday train services in Scotland have been crippled for months as workers protest over pay and conditions.
RMT members on the Caledonian Sleeper service, which is run by Serco, will also strike from October 31 to November 2 and from November 11 to 13.
COP26 will take place in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12 and will see global leaders, activists, campaigners and protesters descend on the city.
Refuse workers in Glasgow have also threatened to go on strike during the climate conference over a pay dispute.
‘Complete disregard for workers’
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “Scotland is set to be humiliated on the world stage because of the SNP’s complete disregard for workers.
“Everything from refuse collection to public transport will be plunged into chaos during COP26 if they do not stand up for workers fighting for fair pay and conditions.”
RMT had earlier announced the result of a ballot in which 84% of more than 2,000 members backed more strikes over the ScotRail dispute.
‘Stonewalled’ by government
Mike Hogg, Scotland organiser at RMT, admitted the union has not put the pay offer to members but said it “does not address the current industrial issues”.
The pay offer is an increase of 4.7% over two years with “effiency savings”, which the union organiser claims would leave members having to “sell hard earned terms and conditions in order to get a pay rise”.
He added: “For the last 18 months, we have been stonewalled by Transport Scotland and Abellio ScotRail and Serco Caledonian Sleeper.”
The union said the strike action could impact every train service in Scotland but is “hopeful” this will not be necessary.
David Simpson, operations director at ScotRail, told the BBC: “We mde a very positive offer to (the RMT) last weekend which – at that point – seemed to be acceptable.
“It offered a two-year deal, there was 4.7% worth of pay rise in there which, given the current industry financial position, is very significant.”
He described the prospect of more strikes as “very frustrating” given the “progress” of talks so far.
Mr Simpson said the service is still only at 50% of previous customer levels which leads to “very significant challenges for the industry”.
A ScotRail spokesman said: “It is extremely disappointing that the RMT have opted to continue with this highly damaging strike action, particularly when a pay offer, negotiated over several weeks, has been made to the trade unions.”