Caledonian Sleeper to cancel services during proposed strike dates

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AS further rail strikes continue, Rail Union RMT claim that Serco have been refusing to negotiate over better pay for staff.

Industrial action is scheduled that will cause significant disruption to people booked to travel on board the overnight rail service between London and Scotland.

Strike action on the Serco Caledonian sleeper goes ahead after 85% of rail staff voted in favour of strike action over the freeze and are determined to see pay justice.

train at station|Transport News Scotland
ike action on SERCO Caledonian sleeper goes ahead for eleven days from next Tuesday 15th June to Saturday 26th June(Photo from Rich Smith on Unsplash)

Rail Union RMT claim that Serco have refused to open negotiations with them to discuss ending the pay freeze they are imposing on employees.

MT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “SERCO need to stop lying to passengers and giving false hope about talks when in fact none have taken place.

The wholesale cancellation of sleeper services for the duration of the strike is wholly down to their intransigence and refusal to discuss pay justice for their staff.

“The company need to get round the table for real so that we can negotiate a fair pay deal for our members who have kept the service running throughout the pandemic.

“This contempt towards a loyal and dedicated workforce is completely unacceptable and RMT will be backing them all the way.

“The union remains available for talks aimed at resolving this dispute.”

train with sunset |Transport News Scotland
staff who have kept the service running throughout the Covid pandemic recently returned a massive 85% vote in favour of strike action over the freeze(Photo from Zach Pickering on Unsplash)

Kathryn Darbandi, Serco’s Managing Director for Caledonian Sleeper, responded with: “The proposed strike action by the RMT is both unjustified and very disappointing, and will impact thousands of guests due to travel in the period at a time when we should all be working together to rebuild the Scottish economy.

“It will also harm our hard-working staff who will lose significant earnings as a result. Throughout the pandemic, we have protected staff, all of whom have received full pay even though our services have been significantly reduced.

“We have also been clear that we fully intend to resume pay talks next year, once the business is in a stronger position.

“We remain open to discussions aimed at resolving the dispute, but in the meantime, we have had no choice but to prepare for the strike to go ahead. Unfortunately, as a result we have taken the difficult decision to cancel our services.”

The services from the 15th to the 26th of June will be cancelled, with Guests travelling during this period being offered a full refund.