RMT vs the World

With COP26 looming and the prospect of delegates from around the world attempting to get to Glasgow, it is probably not a good time for the RMT to expand their months-long strike action to cover the entire Scotrail network.

This is what they’re planning however, so I’m wondering if the Scottish Government will at last take an interest in a strike that has had a huge negative impact on thousands of workers over the past seven months.

Taking strike action on a Sunday may not appear to many to matter very much, but let’s be clear: those workers using Scotrail on a Sunday are usually in healthcare, retail, or hospitality. They are usually shift workers on typically lower rates of pay than white-collar workers. And they’ve already had their working lives disproportionately affected by restrictions throughout the pandemic period. Those most affected by the Sunday strike action are therefore those who have little choice but to pack onto over-crowded buses, or rely on friends and family to help with their journey.

The fact the Scottish Government has so far adopted the attitude that the strikes are nothing to do with them shows just how little they care for low paid and vulnerable workers: can you really believe that if the strike action had been on a Monday, they would have let it continue unchecked for so long?

The West Lothian LibDems are calling for a meaningful dialogue between interested parties, mediated and facilitated by the Scottish Government, to take place with the utmost urgency.

We suspect the wheels are already in motion, after all, the Scottish Government cannot want to damage their green credentials with the eyes of the world on them. The fact it took further threatened strike action for them to accept any responsibility is infuriating, but at least it means that the misery of the Sunday strikes may be over for good.

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