Potential transport chaos during the COP26 summit has been averted after negotiations over rail workers’ pay have finally ended.
Public transport during the 13-day United Nations climate summit in Glasgow was set to be heavily disrupted by strikes amid a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.
Rail strikes have now been called off after a deal was struck between the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and transport bosses yesterday.
The RMT had previously called for 12 days of strikes from Monday to coincide with COP26, which is drawing world leaders and thousands of delegates to Scotland.
This will also mark an end to the Sunday strikes, which have seen most ScotRail trains on that day cancelled since March.
The Scottish Government and ScotRail had imposed a deadline of 5pm yesterday for a resolution.
The union confirmed the planned industrial action will be ‘withdrawn immediately’ as members welcomed a negotiated pay rise.
In a letter released to union members following the agreement, RMT 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between your union and the company would be resolved and that all current and planned industrial action would be withdrawn immediately.’
The new terms accept the union’s call for a 2.5% pay rise backdated to April and a ‘COP26 payment’ for all staff of £300.
A three-hour book on allowance applied to each rest day worked, applicable for 12 months from the date of the agreement, is also included.
Earlier, he had written to the first minister, ‘calling on her to intervene as a matter of urgency to bring about a fair resolution’ to the dispute, and accused rail bosses of having ‘dragged their heels over further talks’ with just weeks until the summit.
Mr Lynch’s said the union’s offer was accepted ‘unanimously’ by delegates.
His letter added: ‘It was noted that it was only through the tremendous determination of you and your colleagues throughout this dispute, through the efforts of your representatives, activists and negotiators that this result was achieved.
‘The AGM congratulates you and I congratulate you on achieving this magnificent industrial victory and gaining a one-year pay deal and rest day working agreement without any preconditions and which banishes the previously stated productivity strings attached.
‘By accepting the offer all industrial action is now cancelled and I instruct you all to work normally on the days you had previously been instructed to take action on.’
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