Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
February 15, 2018

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Union threatens strike action over health and safety cuts

A railway workers’ union has threaten strike action after it claimed cutbacks by Abellio ScotRail have left its railway stations without a health and safety department.

The Transport Salaried Staff Association (TSSA) said the station’s health and safety manager at ScotRail has taken voluntary severance, while the other two members of his department have been told to find other jobs within the company.

The general secretary of the TSSA, Manuel Cortes, said he already asked the Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf to intervene with Scotrail and stop the voluntary redundancies.

Strike action threat

Mr Cortes added the TSSA will “not just be letting things happen” and would not rule anything out, up to and including “strike action”.

“It is incredible that at a time of heightened terrorist threat, Abellio has done away with the department that looks after the health and safety of their stations,” said Cortes.

“ScotRail are sleepwalking into a potential safety nightmare,” he added.

“TSSA asked Humza Yousaf to intervene to stop the voluntary redundancies, but he dismissed our concerns, calling them ‘only backroom staff’,” said the trade union leader.

“Now his laissez-faire attitude has put ScotRail passengers and staff at risk. I hope he’ll be man enough to admit he was wrong and intervene to put it right.”

Not about removing people

A spokesman for ScotRail said: “We are in the early stages of our consultation with the TSSA, which includes improving the way we manage safety-related matters across the company.

“This is a long-standing agreed approach between the company and its trade unions. This is not about removing people from the company. There will be new jobs under a proposed new team structure for those who wish to work for us.”


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