RMT’s planned action is an interesting one. Check out the list of train companies in the above link (you’ll have to scroll right down to the bottom) in which action is proposed. I can see no mention of Scotland at all, other than via Network Rail. Of course, THIS could be the reason:
I dont know enough about railways to know how this will play out – for instance who employs signaling staff, but it’s interesting it is portrayed in the press as Scotland in a UK strike, or just an RMT strike in Scotland, when it looks as if it’s RMT members everywhere but Scotland.
As for the ASLEF guys, clearly workers on wages of 50k demanding 10% is not good PR, but from the pov of making a rail system work, wage conflict was something the SG inherited – see this from last year https://aslef.org.uk/news/scotrail-joint-unions-statement
But as John Jamieson points out in his letter to the National, if the drivers succeed, it is money going out from the fixed SG budget which will mean cuts in other areas outwith the railways such as Scottish Child Payment.
There is too, a certain amount of demonstrations of strength going on to show who is “in charge” – I think this gives us an insight:
There can be little doubt that just as RMT acted just in time for COP26, this is an ambush, but one the SG should have been aware was going to happen (the dispute, I think was ongoing, predating April 1st). The Government are trying to argue it will only be temporary as they are training up drivers so that rest day working is not necessary. However, I wonder if that is the point – I can remember when industrial peace in the Engineering industry was defined as “two nights and a Sunday” – ie overtime is a financial expectation. If rest day working is done away with, the drivers (well paid drivers) are going to take a financial hit (though have more times to themselves). Besides training a driver takes at least one year (when they are trained and can be allowed out isnt clear) and that process has been seriously disrupted by Covid. If the SG is hoping to ride this one out till then there are a lot of bad headlines (and yes misleading crap) to come. Could they do better? Out with the dug yesterday on walks that take us near to the north bank electric service and many of the trains passing us were pretty empty. I wonder if by tweaking their new timetable (eg less cuts at known high demand and more at lower demand) they might at least obviate the Jamie McIver interview outside Queen Street (did he just bump into that guy).
Anyhow, I understand and share the frustration of the BBC lying to us (again) but it’s hardly new is it. Could this at least be addressed by better strategic thinking which should have started with the expectation that something like this was going to happen.