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ScotRail CCTV strike may hit Scottish Cup Final

16 April 2018

Unless crisis talks tomorrow between TSSA and ScotRail resolve the industrial dispute over the axing of too many CCTV staff, and imposition of a night shift, strike action could affect the Scottish Football Cup final.

Last minute talks will take place with the company tomorrow. But TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes will ask Humza Yousaf to order management to resolve the crisis, at a meeting now scheduled to take place in Holyrood on Wednesday if ScotRail bosses do not agree to restock the numbers of safety critical CCTV staff tomorrow.

The specialist security monitoring team was diminished by more than 20% after management accepted 17 applications for voluntary severance out of 84 staff at the back end of the year. No staff were replaced and consequently numbers are too low to ensure rotas are not overstretched or meet the demand for nightshift staff.

Scotrail’s decision to impose a nightshift contract on CCTV monitored workers who have no wish, or experience, of working nights has provoked much anger and returned an overwhelming mandate for strike action from the TSSA CCCTV team.

Said Cortes, “Time and again our members have warned Abellio Scotrail bosses that their constant reorganisation is damaging their ability to keep the network secure.

“But this time they have excelled themselves with their dark age industrial practices. No responsible, reasonable employer should ask mums and dads to abandon their kids, leaving them alone in their beds at night, so they can go and work in CCTV control rooms.

“Our members are despairing at the contempt Abellio are showing them and the safety and security of ScotRail’s passengers plus it’s 10,000 miles of track, stations and depots is being severely compromised.

“Left to their own devices, Abellio’s regard for safety, has left us running our railways in Scotland on a wing and a prayer. We have crisis talks with Abellio tomorrow but frankly, I’m not hopeful that they will see the light.

“So, I am delighted that I will be meeting Humza on Wednesday to discuss these issues as a matter of urgency.

“Privatisation has presented many challenges to our members and to the maintenance of safety standards on ScotRail. But this Abellio mob are the worst of the many privateers I’ve come across. Humza knows that. TSSA have given him enough headaches over Abellio’s short comings since they took over three years ago.

“Of course we’d really like Humza to properly lead on transport, break the Abellio franchise and bring ScotRail back into public ownership. But keeping ScotRail safe and its workers right to a family life is now his - and our - most pressing issue.

“If Abellio have not found a satisfactory solution by the end of tomorrow’s talks, then it falls to Humza to order them to sort the problem out. If not our members will be consulted on striking over the Scottish Cup final weekend in May. Scotland’s rail passengers know that ScotRail is not just a draconian employer, but that they are no longer safe in Abellio’s hands. “

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