The ScotRail conductors’ strike got off to a cracking start yesterday. Solid action saw every train cancelled other than a few DOO trains in the central belt.
Guards are angry that the company has taken away their enhanced pay rates for rest day working, especially as drivers are still being paid £365 to work their rest days. In an age where a lot is talked about reducing equality, this company is widening it. ScotRail’s excuse is that this had to continue because drivers would not work their rest days. With this strike action, the company is now finding out that conductors won’t either!
It took a determined fight a few years back to keep guards on (most of) Scotland’s trains. Having been beaten on this, management now seem to want to wage a long war of putting the grade down. With ScotRail’s days in private ownership probably numbered, its management seem to want to save very penny while they still can.
Although the enhancement was cut six months ago, this particular issue was put on hold while the union tried to muster a fight over pay. But the pay ballot did not meet the thresholds required by laws specifically designed to make it harder to strike.
Anyone thinking that this is not the right time to take action because of the pandemic might like to tell that to the employer, which evidently thinks it is a perfect time to take money out of our pockets despite us keeping Scotland running throughout this difficult last twelve months.
Strikes continue for another four Sundays, along with an accompanying ban on overtime and higher-grade duties. If that doesn’t make the company see sense, we will have to escalate.