Caledonian Sleeper staff are to strike in October over safety concerns of workers, as not enough berths for rest periods have been provided.
The RMT union said that bosses have not provided enough berths so that staff can rest and they have not addressed fatigue amongst staff.
Staff have been asked not to book on for shifts between 5.30pm on Sunday 4 October, and 5.30pm on Tuesday 6 October, and also from 5.30pm on Sunday 11 October, and 5.30pm on Tuesday 13 October.
Serco who operate the service said the move is “extremely disappointing” and they are now reviewing plans for services on those dates.
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.”
Ryan Flaherty, Serco’s managing director for Caledonian Sleeper said, “We have been advised by the RMT that its members intend to take strike action on Caledonian Sleeper services next month. This is despite less than a third of our workforce voting in favour of this in their ballot.
“We are currently reviewing plans for services on the dates in question and will update guests should there be any changes that affect them.
“Since we started operating a reduced programme in March, all staff have received their full wage despite working significantly reduced hours.
“We have done everything possible to provide staff with rest areas on board and have also engaged with an independent fatigue specialist to review working patterns, even though we do not accept the claim that it is an issue.
“The decision to launch strike action is especially disappointing as it comes at a time when all of our focus should be on supporting the Scottish Government to rebuild the economy and maintain vital transport links.”
A Transport Scotland spokeswoman added, “We fully appreciate the challenges faced by the rail industry as we continue to transition through the Routemap to Recovery.
“While staff rosters and conditions are matters for Serco Caledonian Sleepers and the unions concerned, we would urge all parties to continue meaningful dialogue to reach a mutually agreeable solution.”
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