ASLEF condemns Scotrail for reduced Sunday service

01 July 2015

ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has condemned ScotRail for its failure to negotiate properly over a new pay deal – a failure which has now forced the company to issue revised timetables with a reduced Sunday service to passengers from 5 July.

Kevin Lindsay, the union’s organiser in Scotland, said: ‘ScotRail receives taxpayer money to run the railway in Scotland for seven days a week, not six. The Scottish government should stand up for Scotland and fine the company for reducing our railway service.

‘The pay offer of 2.5%, which we have rejected, is productivity based. ASLEF is happy to discuss having Sundays as part of the working week but there have been no firm proposals from the company on this. The company initially offered a one-off bonus of £1,000 for ensuring Sunday services were covered but then withdrew that offer and reduced it to £500. Because, they said, they want to use the money to recruit more drivers; so, basically, they are asking train drivers who are already employed to pay for the recruitment of new colleagues! And they want to reduce drivers’ break sand notify drivers of shift changes later.

‘The company is also pushing for driver only operation, want to reduce our safety briefs, and want to replace our existing Driver Restructuring Initiative with a new agreement although they have given us no details.

‘They haven’t been negotiating properly, or fairly, but are trying to railroad these new terms and conditions through at the expense of the train drivers who provide the service to passengers. Abellio, who now run the ScotRail franchise, are owned by the Dutch government but they don’t treat the Dutch railways like this. It’s scandalous what they are trying to do to the railway in Scotland and I hope the Scottish government will stand up for Scotland over this.

‘Especially as, later this month, the climax of the 144th Open Championship takes place at St Andrews, the home of golf, on Sunday. This new timetable that ScotRail have issued means passengers won’t be able to get to and from the venue as they had planned. But Abellio aren’t just letting golf fans down; they’re letting everyone down. And if Abellio can’t deliver Scotland’s railway seven days a week then the Scottish government should take back the franchise.’

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