COP26 rail strike off after RMT agrees pay deal
A strike would have caused major disruption
A damaging rail strike during the COP26 summit has been avoided after a pay deal was agreed tonight with the RMT union.
The deal gives its members a 2.5% rise backdated to 1 April with improved conditions and a COP payment for all staff.
Ian McConnell, ScotRail chief operating officer, said: “We have reached a pay agreement with the RMT trade union that resolves strike action.
“We look forward to Scotland’s Railway playing its part in delivering a successful COP26 next week.”
Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary, said: “Following further discussions between RMT and ScotRail an agreement has been reached and the proposals have been accepted by the union.
“As the disputes are resolved strike action has been cancelled and RMT members have been advised to work normally.”
Transport Minister Graeme Dey, who had faced calls to resign if he failed to settle the deal ahead of the summit, said: “Following recent discussions we are pleased that all four trade unions have now agreed to accept this very good pay offer on behalf of their members.
“We are proud to have brokered and funded a deal which gives Scotland’s rail workers a decent pay rise and improved terms and conditions, in contrast to conditions for rail workers under the UK Government.
Graeme Dey: proud to have brokered a deal
“We are also pleased that the RMT reached out to restart discussions based on the offer that had been made to them on Sunday. Now an agreement has been confirmed the strike action will thankfully now come to an end.
“As well as getting the pay rise they deserve, railway workers can now go back to delivering rail services for people right across Scotland and as well as for those attending COP26.
“Allowing everyone who works in Scotland’s Railways to play their part in welcoming the world to our country and showcase our efforts towards building a greener, cleaner railway.”
Scottish Labour’s transport spokesperson Neil Bibby said: “This is very welcome news.
“This eleventh hour deal may help the SNP save face but it won’t fix the mess they’ve made of our railways.
“However welcome the pay deal is, it doesn’t undo the contempt the SNP have shown rail workers over the last two years.
“It is disgraceful that it took the risk of embarrassment at COP26 to convince the SNP to give rail workers the fair pay they deserve.
“Scotland’s railways are not just for COP26. The SNP must now commit to building a railway that is truly fit for purpose and stopping the reckless cuts to services.”
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