THE RMT union has warned that its second 48-hour strike on Caledonian Sleeper is set to go ahead on Sunday, having accused the sleeper operator SERCO of a ‘point blank refusal to engage in talks with union officials over the fundamental issues of fatigue and safety’.
The union said it had been ‘prepared to negotiate from the outset‘, but that the company had ‘stonewalled’.
The dispute concerns the provision of berths on board the trains for staff to use during rest periods, and also the problem of fatigue which results from their absence.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘It is appalling that SERCO have stonewalled every opportunity to resolve this dispute since last Sunday’s rock-solid action and that failure on the company’s part leaves them wholly responsible for the cancellation of services again this weekend.’
He continued: ‘It is a total dereliction of duty on the part of the political leadership in Scotland that they have not lifted a finger to help find a resolution to this high profile industrial dispute and have left SERCO to ride roughshod over both staff and passenger safety.
‘A clear message has been sent to management by their staff and 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.’
Railnews has invited SERCO to respond.