UK & World News

  • 13 December 2012, 12:09

ScotRail Strike For Staff On Christmas Eve

ScotRail staff will strike on December 22 and Christmas Eve in a dispute over the sacking of an employee, the RMT union has said.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) warned of "massive disruption" to services from the two 24-hour walkouts.

Union members on the firm's sleeper services will also strike for 24 hours from the evening of December 21 and again from the evening of December 23.

The union said the action was in support of Scott Lewis, who the RMT claimed had been dismissed for trying to help a member of the public buy the correct ticket.

The union maintained that Mr Lewis was trying to make sure the passenger had the correct ticket, but that he was dismissed for making "unwanted contact" with the man.

General secretary Bob Crow called for immediate reinstatement, adding: "Scott Lewis has been victimised and sacked for trying to help a passenger within the written procedures set out in ScotRail's own policies in what is an absolute travesty of justice.

"RMT members will not sit back and watch while their colleagues are picked off in this fashion by a management who think that they can fire staff without a single shred of evidence to support their case, and that is why RMT had no choice but to announce this programme of action."

ScotRail said the union's decision "reeks of selfishness" and that the dates had been chosen to give staff a paid day off in the run-up to Christmas.

It described the move as "a clear attack on the travelling public across Scotland at Christmas as well as people heading home from England, let alone last minute shoppers and party-goers - rather than the company."

A spokesman said: "This reeks of selfishness - designed to give those on strike extra time off and full wages while having the maximum impact on the travelling public in the run up to Christmas.

"It also appears mercenary and opportunistic to choose times when families and friends will be travelling for festive reunions and many other people, including staff in hospitals and shops, still have to get to and from work."

Although 548 of the 819 votes cast were in favour of the strike action, ScotRail said that figure only accounted for 24% of the union's members.

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