MEMBERS of the RMT are to take industrial action on Caledonian Sleeper in October after a strike ballot, in protest at what the union claims is ‘SERCO’s lack of concern for members’ safety and wellbeing’, and also the company’s ‘refusal’ to negotiate.
Walkouts of sleeper hosts and sleeper team leaders have been called from 17.30 on 4 October until the same time on 6 October, and again from 17.30 on 11 October until 17.30 on the 13th.
There will also be a ban on rest day working, working in a higher grade and voluntary overtime from 17.31 on 6 October until 17.29 on the 11th, and then from 17.31 on the 13th until further notice.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘Our vote shows that members on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper are absolutely determined to seek justice in this dispute and I am sure this will be displayed by full support across the service for this industrial action.
’A clear message has been sent to management by the vote and now by this call to action. It is now time for the SERCO management to respond in a meaningful and positive way to the serious safety issues at the heart of this dispute.’
Caledonian Sleeper managing director Ryan Flaherty responded: ‘We have been advised by the RMT that its members intend to take strike action. This is despite less than a third of our workforce voting in favour of this in their ballot. We are currently reviewing plans for services on the dates in question and will update guests should there be any changes that affect them.
‘Since we started operating a reduced programme in March, all staff have received their full wage despite working significantly reduced hours. We have done everything possible to provide staff with rest areas on board and have also engaged with an independent fatigue specialist to review working patterns, even though we do not accept the claim that it is an issue.
‘The decision to launch strike action is especially disappointing as it comes at a time when all of our focus should be on supporting the Scottish Government to rebuild the economy and maintain vital transport links.’