UNIONS representing rail workers have warned train bosses to make a 'serious offer' in pay talks or Scotland's rail network will be brought to a standstill. 

Unite the Union who represent engineers working for ScotRail will sit down with bosses tomorrow after political pressure from Nicola Sturgeon and transport minister Graeme Dey.

The union warned engineers would start industrial action from midnight on Friday, September 24 ahead of the September weekend holiday, if talks did not progress.

The industrial action will include a rest day working ban; a ban on overtime; a refusal to use tablets, phones and iPads for inputting of information on management information systems; no undertaking of driving duties; and no operation of plant engineering.  

Unite’s engineering members at Abellio Scotrail voted to take industrial action following the collapse of pay talks.  The ballot returned a vote of 78% in support of strike action from a 68.4% turnout. 92% supported taking industrial action short of a strike. 

READ MORE: More travel chaos expected in Glasgow as train engineers in Unite the Union vote for strike action

The pay dispute has been affecting workers across the railways including RMT members who work as customer service staff or train guards. The pay dispute has been ongoing for almost six months, resulting in there being reduced train services on Sundays.

Unions claim that benefits and entitlements have been withdrawn from them such as a rest day working payment agreement. The union claims Abellio has been told by the Scottish Government not to award any pay rises to rail workers.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite industrial officer, said: “Abellio Scotrail must make a serious offer to our engineering members or we will start forms of continous industrial action from Friday, 24 September. We can’t emphasise enough the disorganised chaos which prevails at Abellio Scotrail.  Due to mismanagement and staff shortages, engineers are being called back in on their rest days and overtime levels have increased costing around £1m since 2020.”

“Unite also met with the Transport Minister last week who went on the record stating our members ‘deserve’ a pay rise.  The company has little over a week to sort this out, or the nation’s rail network will effectively come to a standstill due to the specialised nature of work which our members provide. Industrial action will severely disrupt events including the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, which would be a national embarrassment contrived by Abellio Scotrail.”