Scottish rail strike: Talks fail to prevent Christmas action

ScotRail train
Image caption ScotRail hopes to keep most trains running even if RMT members strike

Rail strikes in the run-up to Christmas are to go ahead after talks between ScotRail managers and trade union officials failed to achieve agreement.

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) plan to take part in the action on 22 December and Christmas Eve.

The RMT voted to strike in support of ticket examiner Scott Lewis, who was dismissed by ScotRail.

ScotRail called the strike a "clear attack" on the travelling public.

The company insisted that most trains would still run on the strike days.

A ScotRail spokesman said: "It is extremely disappointing that the talks failed to reach a solution. The RMT wanted the former ticket examiner to be reinstated."

The spokesman added: "We will get people home this Christmas. Our contingency plans will keep any impact on our customers to a minimum. There is no doubt that the majority of our services will run."

The rail firm indicated it would be available for further "meaningful talks" at any time.

Details of the incident involving Mr Lewis which led to his departure from ScotRail are disputed.

The RMT has claimed that he was merely trying to ensure that a man on board a train purchased the correct ticket.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow has called for Mr Lewis to be reinstated.

After the talks, he said: "RMT arrived at the talks today only to find that ScotRail were not prepared to discuss the issue at the heart of the dispute and that's the dismissal and reinstatement of Scott Lewis.

"We have been led up the garden path by the company who had no intention of entering into meaningful discussions and as a result of ScotRail's actions the strike remains on."

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