The RMT union has called on the Scottish Government to take urgent action to protect vital jobs on the railway in a letter to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Once Scotland went into lockdown, railway enhancement works fell under the same restrictions as the wider construction sector. However, as lockdown measures are eased, RMT is confident these works can be recommenced with the strictest possible health and safety guidelines and hundreds of jobs across Scotland’s railways can be protected.
Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “The health and safety of my members is paramount and my reps are now confident Scottish railway enhancement works can be recommenced safely as they have been in England and Wales.
“For some reason, despite our reassurances, the Scottish Government is insisting this sector remains under lockdown which is now putting hundreds of my member’s jobs potentially at risk.”
“To compound matters further rail renewals works continue to go ahead in Scotland while enhancements remain out of bounds to our members despite the exact same risk control and additional safety measures being in place.
“RMT believes that if this current illogical position remains in place rail infrastructure workers will potentially be thrown on the scrap heap simply due to political decisions being made which are totally contrary to the advice being given to Scottish Government Ministers by Network Rail on behalf of the rail Infrastructure contracting supply chain and by RMT on behalf of the workforce.
“We are ready to offer those reassurances to the First Minister and Scottish Government and have today requested an urgent meeting to agree a way to protect jobs whilst ensuring the highest standards of health and safety.”
(Photo above – Work at Elgin – credit Network Rail)