ScotRail strike: are trains running during COP26 in Glasgow - how services could be affected

RMT withdraws threat of industrial action after reaching new pay deal for staff

Planned strike action by ScotRail staff during the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow has been called off at the last minute.

The RMT union announced that it was dropping the threat of action after reaching a new pay deal with rail bosses. Ongoing Sunday strike action has also been halted.

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The union had planned 12 days of strikes to coincide with the COP26 summit, warning that it would cause massive disruption to every service around the city as more than 25,000 delegates arrived in the city for the UN talks.

However, on Wednesday evening the union said the action had been called off with immediate effect after ScotRail bosses agreed to new terms.

In a letter to members, the RMT’s general secretary Michael Lynch said: “By accepting the offer, ScotRail stated that it would mean all current disputes between your union and the company would be resolved and that all current and planned industrial action would be withdrawn immediately.”

Under the new terms, ScotRail accepted the union’s demand for a 2.5% pay rise backdated to April, along with a one-off payment of £300 for working during the COP26 summit.

The sides also agreed to drop conditions on “efficiency savings” which the union said were unacceptable, and agreed to changes to conditions around rest days.

Responding to the RMT announcement, ScotRail’s chief operating officer Ian McConnell 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.”

The union and Scottish ministers had previously warned that an agreement looked unlikely.

Scotland’s transport minister Graeme Dey said earlier this week that he was “not optimistic” of an agreement being reached, while the union accused him of “putting a gun” to members’ heads by setting a 5pm deadline on Wednesday for them to accept Scotrail’s offer.

The RMT had rejected a ScotRail offer of a 4.5% pay rise over two years attached to productivity improvements but just after Wednesday’s deadline, the union announced that its one-year counter offer had been agreed by the operator.

Mr Dey commented: “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.”

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