Union urges Matheson to call ‘urgent inquiry’ over ScotRail

The union TSSA (Transport Salaried Staff Association) has warned of further rail chaos this weekend because of a lack of drivers - partly because of industrial action.

By Roy Beers
Saturday, 31st August 2019, 4:16 pm

TSSA leader Manuel Cortes is urging Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson, transport minister, to call an urgent inquiry into ScotRail’s operation over what he claims is “ongoing incompetence”.

Last weekend saw chaotic and allegedly dangerous scenes in Edinburgh as customers trying to head home after Festival shows - and an international at Murrayfield - struggled to find a train because of a string of cancellations.

With replacement buses also swamped by demand ScotRail at one point advised people to do their best to find their own way home.

Manuel Cortes said: “These cancellations aren’t down to acts of God. It’s ScotRail’s ongoing incompetence which is to blame as they simply haven’t recruited enough train drivers.

“It’s also clear that our Train Driver Managers’ refusal to drive trains is hurting. Our union remains willing to meet ScotRail any time, any place, anywhere to resolve this dispute.

“Matheson should bite the bullet by bringing these services back into public ownership”.

A particular bone of contention with both the TSSA and the union RMT is a plan by ScotRail to cut up to 15 jobs from ticket offices, which it argues reflects changing customer habits.

ScotRail told the Scotsman newspaper various proposals were made to the unions that ensured opening and closing times remained unchanged.

A TSSA spokeswoman told The Herald newspaper: “Last Saturday we saw it biting with the Edinburgh Festival and the Scotland rugby international - it is going to be the same this weekend because there are more shifts not covered. Our guys aren’t doing it and ScotRail haven’t got enough staff”.