First ScotRail staff to stage four-day strike next week

First ScotRail guards and drivers will start a four-day rolling strike from Monday (12 April).

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said sleeper train managers would also strike for four days from Tuesday 13 April.

The strikes have been sparked in a row over First ScotRail’s decision not to use guards on the Airdrie Bathgate Line and lines due to be electrified under the Glasgow Edinburgh Improvement Project.

Bob Crowe, general secretary of the RMT, said: “First ScotRail and the Scottish government are still refusing to face up to their responsibilities to the travelling public and their staff and are prepared to slash corners on rail safety in the dash for cuts and the drive for profits.”

Crowe called on Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond to intervene in the dispute and find a resolution.

He said: “I repeat my call for a face-to-face meeting with first minister Alex Salmond to resolve this issue and to get the company to comply with their obligations in respect of the guards.

“If First ScotRail and the transport minister are not able to bring this dispute to a conclusion, then it falls to the first minister to intervene.”

ScotRail told the Scotsman it “deeply regretted” that talks with the conciliation service Acas had failed.

Steve Montgomery, managing director of First ScotRail, said: “I welcomed the Acas meeting as a step in the right direction – but the only step taken by the union was backwards. Instead of conciliation, there was intransigence.”

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