Strike Action looks set to disrupt the Caledonian Sleeper service in October as RMT members vote overwhelmingly for action, just 18 months after the last threat of disruption.
RMT members on the Caledonian Sleeper are to take strike action and action short of a strike next month following an overwhelming ballot result where members showed a clear desire to take industrial action against SERCO’s lack of concern for member’s safety and wellbeing and the company’s refusal to negotiate with their union.
Back in May 2019, similar action was voted on by RMT members over the rushed introduction of new rolling stock.
In a statement, the RMT Union said; “The action has been sparked after SERCO Caledonian Sleeper continued to provide insufficient berths for rest periods and the company’s inability to address the fatigue experienced by RMT members as a result. RMT says that safety on the railway is paramount and the company are showing a clear lack of regard for the welfare of its staff. There is no question that RMT members are essential for the safe running of the railway and it is vital that staff are able to carry out their duties responsively and quickly. This can only happen when staff are free from the danger of fatigue.
“RMT’s National Executive Committee has considered this matter and is appalled at SERCO’s lack of concern for the safety of RMT members. Not only that but SERCO are continuing to ignore the 2019 dispute resolution agreed with the union that Train Hosts should be allocated additional berths for their rest periods. Considering the overwhelming vote for industrial action the NEC sees no alternative than to now use that mandate.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said; “Our vote shows that members on SERCO Caledonian Sleeper are absolutely determined to seek justice in this dispute and I am sure this will be displayed by full support across the service for this industrial action.
“A clear message has been sent to management by the vote and now by this call to action. 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.”
As a result of the vote, all Sleeper Hosts and Sleeper Team Leaders working for SERCO Caledonian Sleeper have been instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:
• 1730 hours on Sunday 4th October 2020 until 1730 hours on Tuesday 6th October 2020
• 1730 hours on Sunday 11th October 2020 until 1730 hours on Tuesday 13th October 2020
Additionally, members have also been instructed to take the following action short of a strike:
• Not to undertake any rest day working or higher grade duties or voluntary overtime from 1731 hours on Tuesday 6th October 2020 until 1729 hours on Sunday 11th October 2020.
• Not to undertake any rest day working or higher grade duties or voluntary overtime from 1731 hours on Tuesday 13th October 2020 until further notice