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Scotrail controllers action

13 March 2016

Rail Controllers in Scotland are gearing up for all-out strike action which will bring the entire Scottish rail system to a standstill after a severe break down in industrial relations between TSSA and Scotrail Alliance.

Scotrail Alliance appears to be recruiting new staff to control when the current control staff team, who have been highly critical about diminishing regard for safety standards since the new rail company was formed last year, face a cull.

TSSA informed Scotrail on Friday afternoon we will be issuing ballots on strike action which will go ahead from April 11 and will bring the network in, out and across Scotland to a standstill.

Said TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes:

"Scotrail seem to be treating passenger safety as a game of Russian roulette and our controllers' patience with their shenanigans has finally run out.

"These are a small but highly-trained and highly-skilled section of rail staff who take great pride in their work. They are the rail equivalent of air traffic control , they track trains keep them running safely.

"They have been highly critical of Scotrail Alliance's efforts to introduce new working practices that would jeopardise passenger and industry safety standards and since the Forth Road Bridge closure they have been overstretched and with no slack in the system they have been working on good will rather than good practice.

"Scotrail has promised time and again - and even at ACAS talks just last month - there would be no changes until we have reached agreement on the staff structure for a new integrated control centre. Now they want to bring in new staff whilst existing controllers face a potential cull.'
"It takes along time to train a controller, you don't just find them by putting ad in the job vacancy section of the paper. TSSA is furious that despite all our efforts to co-operate with Scotrail Alliance they are now undermining our agreed procedures, undermining and undercutting our controllers and gambling with passengers lives. Our members are not prepared to join in.

"Let's face it, this new lot trying to run Scotland's trains look like they'd struggle to run a bath. It's time they stopped playing games with passenger safety and our members livelihoods. Sadly, if they won't, trains will soon come to a halt. Derek Mackay, the Transport Minister who ultimately appointed this incompetent lot must now step in to stop this farce and ensure that trains continue to run safely."

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