Socialist Worker

Strike to guard safety on train lines

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2511

Scotrail workers on the picket line

Scotrail workers on the picket line (Pic: Simon Assaf)

Scotrail train guards walked out again last Sunday in their latest strike over bosses’ plans to extend driver only operation (DOO) on the network run by Abellio.

Instead of negotiating, bosses have deployed scab managers that have breached safety during the strike.

The guards’ RMT union announced more strike dates in the ongoing dispute with a 48-hour strike set for Sunday and Monday. This is to be followed by three more strike days on 14, 16 and 17 July.

The workers deserve the solidarity of every trade unionist.

Kevin Lindsay, the Aslef train drivers’ union’s Scottish organiser, said, “Aslef will not tolerate any extension of DOO and will be consulting our members over industrial action.”

Aslef need to move quickly to a strike ballot to strengthen the action against Abellio bosses. Hard-hitting coordinated strikes of drivers and guards can stop bosses in their tracks. And a campaign of political pressure on the Scottish National Party (SNP), which is in charge of Abellio’s contract, is also essential.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon cannot be allowed to get away with “desperately recycling Abellio’s discredited line” said Lindsay.

Sturgeon should come out on the side of passenger safety and demand train guards retain their safety role. The issue is about those workers having a safety role, not commercial duties.

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