Conductors on ScotRail: Strike goes ahead Sun!

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Striking RMT members at South Wester Railway on the picket line – ScotRail conductors they are on strike again tomorrow

RAIL UNION the RMT has confirmed that planned industrial action by ScotRail conductors will go ahead from this Sunday – in a fight for equality and justice over enhanced payments for rest day working.

The RMT, its members say, is appalled that ‘the company are now slandering their own staff for taking action that’s been forced on them during the pandemic – despite the fact that it’s the front line workers who have kept trains running at huge personal risk while Scotrail bosses have been tucked away nice and safe.
‘And after more than 75% of members voted to strike, RMT has instructed them not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-

  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 28th March 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 4th April 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 11th April 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 18th April 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 25th April 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 2nd May 2021

‘The union has also said it will give notice of further Sundays of action if no agreement is reached with the company.
‘Additionally, all our Abellio ScotRail Conductor members are instructed not to work any Rest Days or undertake any Higher Grade Duties from 00.01 hours on Friday 26th March 2021 until further notice.’
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash insisted: ‘I have no doubt that our ScotRail members will show full support and stand shoulder to shoulder during the days of industrial action.
‘It’s frankly disgusting that rather than recognising the issues at the heart of this dispute, the company have resorted to disgraceful mud- slinging.
‘Staff at the front line who have put themselves at huge risk during this pandemic will take no lectures from company bosses who have kept themselves well clear from danger.
‘We have made it clear that we will not allow ScotRail to divide the workforce, and are demanding that ScotRail do what is fair and honour an enhanced rate for rest day working for all grades.’

  • As an officially backed national lock-out looms, GMB British Gas members began strike days 39 to 42 yesterday, March 26, as workers face mass sackings on April 1.

Engineers have been told they had to sign acceptance of a 15% pay cut – and other detrimental changes to terms and conditions – by 12 noon last Thursday or face being fired. Those who had not signed will not be paid lump sum payments of up to £4,500 and other so-called ‘protected terms’ offered by British Gas.
And on Monday March 29 the company will give formal notice of termination for staff who have not accepted the imposed changes.
Then on Thursday April 1 those who don’t sign up to the cuts will be sacked with pay in lieu of the up to 12 weeks’ notice the company are required to give.
GMB members in this bargaining group have already overwhelmingly and repeatedly rejected these imposed changes.
In response GMB’s Central Executive Council (CEC) has agreed to declare an official national lockout dispute between British Gas and GMB from April 1 unless the company pulls back from the brink.
It has also instructed the dispute leaders to consult on further strike dates and other appropriate action.
Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said: ‘Mr O’Shea – CEO of British Gas – has unilaterally created an April 1 cliff edge to sack his workers and is driving the company at high speed toward it.
‘If Mr O’Shea goes ahead with this reckless action, the GMB has agreed to declare an official national lockout dispute with British Gas from April 1. There will also be further strikes and other appropriate action in this deadlocked dispute.
‘For the CEO to gamble the future of a profitable business on a strategic decision of mass sackings is illogical.
‘It will leave everyone bewildered. It is all the more illogical in that from the recent talks at ACAS, Mr O’Shea apologised for undermining trust by accepting dodgy legal advice to go ahead with fire and rehire – and promised never ever to go down this road again.
‘There is still time to pull back. Mr O’Shea should do what’s right for the business, the customers and the workers and take the April 1 deadline off the table.’

  • GMB, the union for hospitality workers, says any plan to demand vaccine certificates to enter pubs would be ‘reckless’ and a ‘fast track to undo the gains of the present lockdown’.

The union warns the scheme would lead to pressure on GPs to fast-track younger patients, false certificates, potential violence for pub workers and even a black market for vaccine doses.
Dan Shears, GMB National Health and Safety Director, said: ‘If these reports are true, this will drive demand for vaccination in absolutely the worst way.
‘If a vaccine certificate is the only way to access a pub, then most under-50s are essentially barred until they get their jab.
‘This will lead to pressure on GPs to fast-track younger patients, false certificates, potential violence for pub workers and even a black market for vaccine doses. If the Government wants a fast track to undo all of the gains of the present lockdown, this is it.
‘Any decision on this approach needs full consultation with both employers and workers and is a finely balanced judgement.
‘This announcement from the PM is reckless, and effectively presents the current consultation on the introduction of certificates as a sham.’

  • The University and College Union (UCU) said on Friday that Universities UK is risking the safety of staff, students and the wider public with its call for a full return to campus on April 12 and resumption of in-person activities for English universities.

UCU was responding to UUK’s request to the UK government not to delay the final phased return for students at English universities, which is due to begin from 12 April.
UCU General Secretary Jo Grady said: ‘This latest call by Universities UK to push students back onto campus from April 12 smacks of self-interest and risks the safety of staff, students and the wider public.
‘It comes during a global pandemic and after a year in which vice-chancellors lured students to university with the promise of a relatively normal campus experience, only for them to be left facing long periods in lockdown. Universities should not now be asking hundreds of thousands of students to return for in-person teaching after Easter when most courses will only have revision classes and exams left.
‘UCU is calling for courses to be taught online until the end of the academic year wherever possible.
‘It will be much safer to remain online until the start of the next academic year when many more people will have been vaccinated.’RAIL UNION the RMT has confirmed that planned industrial action by ScotRail conductors will go ahead from this Sunday – in a fight for equality and justice over enhanced payments for rest day working.
The RMT, its members say, is appalled that ‘the company are now slandering their own staff for taking action that’s been forced on them during the pandemic – despite the fact that it’s the front line workers who have kept trains running at huge personal risk while Scotrail bosses have been tucked away nice and safe.
‘And after more than 75% of members voted to strike, RMT has instructed them not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-

  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 28th March 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 4th April 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 11th April 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 18th April 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 25th April 2021
  • 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Sunday 2nd May 2021

‘The union has also said it will give notice of further Sundays of action if no agreement is reached with the company.
‘Additionally, all our Abellio ScotRail Conductor members are instructed not to work any Rest Days or undertake any Higher Grade Duties from 00.01 hours on Friday 26th March 2021 until further notice.’
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash insisted: ‘I have no doubt that our ScotRail members will show full support and stand shoulder to shoulder during the days of industrial action.
‘It’s frankly disgusting that rather than recognising the issues at the heart of this dispute, the company have resorted to disgraceful mud- slinging.
‘Staff at the front line who have put themselves at huge risk during this pandemic will take no lectures from company bosses who have kept themselves well clear from danger.
‘We have made it clear that we will not allow ScotRail to divide the workforce, and are demanding that ScotRail do what is fair and honour an enhanced rate for rest day working for all grades.’

  • As an officially backed national lock-out looms, GMB British Gas members began strike days 39 to 42 yesterday, March 26, as workers face mass sackings on April 1.

Engineers have been told they had to sign acceptance of a 15% pay cut – and other detrimental changes to terms and conditions – by 12 noon last Thursday or face being fired. Those who had not signed will not be paid lump sum payments of up to £4,500 and other so-called ‘protected terms’ offered by British Gas.
And on Monday March 29 the company will give formal notice of termination for staff who have not accepted the imposed changes.
Then on Thursday April 1 those who don’t sign up to the cuts will be sacked with pay in lieu of the up to 12 weeks’ notice the company are required to give.
GMB members in this bargaining group have already overwhelmingly and repeatedly rejected these imposed changes.
In response GMB’s Central Executive Council (CEC) has agreed to declare an official national lockout dispute between British Gas and GMB from April 1 unless the company pulls back from the brink.
It has also instructed the dispute leaders to consult on further strike dates and other appropriate action.
Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said: ‘Mr O’Shea – CEO of British Gas – has unilaterally created an April 1 cliff edge to sack his workers and is driving the company at high speed toward it.
‘If Mr O’Shea goes ahead with this reckless action, the GMB has agreed to declare an official national lockout dispute with British Gas from April 1. There will also be further strikes and other appropriate action in this deadlocked dispute.
‘For the CEO to gamble the future of a profitable business on a strategic decision of mass sackings is illogical.
‘It will leave everyone bewildered. It is all the more illogical in that from the recent talks at ACAS, Mr O’Shea apologised for undermining trust by accepting dodgy legal advice to go ahead with fire and rehire – and promised never ever to go down this road again.
‘There is still time to pull back. Mr O’Shea should do what’s right for the business, the customers and the workers and take the April 1 deadline off the table.’

  • GMB, the union for hospitality workers, says any plan to demand vaccine certificates to enter pubs would be ‘reckless’ and a ‘fast track to undo the gains of the present lockdown’.

The union warns the scheme would lead to pressure on GPs to fast-track younger patients, false certificates, potential violence for pub workers and even a black market for vaccine doses.
Dan Shears, GMB National Health and Safety Director, said: ‘If these reports are true, this will drive demand for vaccination in absolutely the worst way.
‘If a vaccine certificate is the only way to access a pub, then most under-50s are essentially barred until they get their jab.
‘This will lead to pressure on GPs to fast-track younger patients, false certificates, potential violence for pub workers and even a black market for vaccine doses. If the Government wants a fast track to undo all of the gains of the present lockdown, this is it.
‘Any decision on this approach needs full consultation with both employers and workers and is a finely balanced judgement.
‘This announcement from the PM is reckless, and effectively presents the current consultation on the introduction of certificates as a sham.’

  • The University and College Union (UCU) said on Friday that Universities UK is risking the safety of staff, students and the wider public with its call for a full return to campus on April 12 and resumption of in-person activities for English universities.

UCU was responding to UUK’s request to the UK government not to delay the final phased return for students at English universities, which is due to begin from 12 April.
UCU General Secretary Jo Grady said: ‘This latest call by Universities UK to push students back onto campus from April 12 smacks of self-interest and risks the safety of staff, students and the wider public.
‘It comes during a global pandemic and after a year in which vice-chancellors lured students to university with the promise of a relatively normal campus experience, only for them to be left facing long periods in lockdown. Universities should not now be asking hundreds of thousands of students to return for in-person teaching after Easter when most courses will only have revision classes and exams left.
‘UCU is calling for courses to be taught online until the end of the academic year wherever possible.
‘It will be much safer to remain online until the start of the next academic year when many more people will have been vaccinated.’