ALBA Depute Party Leader Kenny MacAskill MP has today backed the RMT over its proposed strike action in a motion tabled in the House of Commons.  He is taking this initiative with a week to go before the start of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow and as the RMT trade union faces an arbitrary deadline of 5pm today (Wednesday) to accept the offer from the Scottish Government.

The motion states: “That this House notes the importance of COP26 to Scotland and humanity recognises the rights of workers and their trade unions to seek to defend their standard of living and terms and conditions of employment; further recognises the determination and resilience of the RMT  trade union and of rail workers in refusing to give in to an arbitrary deadline imposed by the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland for the RMT trade union to accept the proposed deal or the whole pay offer will be withdrawn and calls for politicians to seek and encourage a fair settlement rather than deprecating workers or trade unions defending their rights”.

In a statement Kenny MacAskill MP said:

“  This is one of the longest running industrial disputes ever and yet one week out from the COP26 Summit we still do not have a fair settlement on the table far less one that the RMT trade union and its members can accept.

“ I lay the blame firmly and squarely at the door of Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government.  When we were months out from the Summit they failed to treat this dispute with the importance and urgency which it deserved now that the COP26 Summit is imminent their behaviour is both heavy handed and intransigent, dismissing the reasonable demands of the RMT trade union, and refusing to negotiate in good faith.

“ SNP MPs would be better using their influence to bring pressure to bear on their Government to get the employer back to the negotiating table than denigrating the RMT trade union and a workforce who are doing no more than defending their standard of living and terms and conditions of employment as they are perfectly entitled  to do.

“ If this dispute which has been ongoing for over a year continues and causes disruption during COP26 it will be the Scottish Government who will be to blame.   Scottish Ministers are more interested in virtue signalling to World leaders about ‘climate justice’ than they are about ensuring real justice for our essential rail workers.

“ The travelling public need an end to this dispute which has seen passengers without rail services every week but we also need a fair and just settlement for the rail workers.”