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Second rail strike to go ahead on Thursday as talks break down - Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

Second rail strike to go ahead on Thursday as talks break down

FROM SCC NETWORK

A second 24-hour rail strike will go ahead in Scotland on Thursday after talks between the RMT union and railway employers broke down.

The RMT accused UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of "wrecking" negotiations by refusing to allow Network Rail to withdraw redundancy threats.

A spokesman for the DfT said it was encouraging the unions and industry to agree a deal to call off the strikes.

Passengers have been facing further disruption due to the fallout from the first of three strikes on Tuesday.

ScotRail said it was caused by the staggered reopening of signal boxes. The operator is urging people to check their journeys in advance.

The latest talks to end the strike broke down on Wednesday afternoon. RMT members are scheduled to stage two further strikes on Thursday and Saturday.

ScotRail's temporary timetable has 1,576 services per day but on Wednesday it planned to run 1,312 services, a reduction of 264 (17%).

It also issued specific advice for fans of The Eagles, ahead of the legendary group's concert at Murrayfield.

About 40,000 Network Rail staff are believed to have walked out at midnight on Tuesday in a dispute over pay, working conditions and redundancies.

ScotRail cancelled 90% of its services while cross-border services were also badly affected.

 

Vicki Unite, Chief Exective, Perthshire Chamber of Commerce said:

“It’s yet another hurdle for businesses to get over and it seems to be relentless at the moment, particularly for those in the tourism and hospitality sectors - but of course this extends to events and festival operators too and then onto their suppliers and others including retailers who rely on the additional footfall that these events and festivals bring to the area.

"The impact will be felt particularly by rural businesses, because this strike is affecting people’s decision to travel, and for our rural business - particularly in the sectors  hospitality and tourism  -  transport is a commercial lifeline.

"So, not only are businesses facing rising costs, staff and supply chain shortage issues – which can causes service delivery problems - on the back of lockdown - they now have to continue to fight for survival and face strike related cancellations.  It would be such a shame if some fall at this new hurdle that has been placed in front of them.

"This peak summer time period with key events traditionally provides the surge in business that shores them up financially for the rest of the shoulder months and so the ramifications are huge.

"We can only hope for a resolution and that it doesn’t drag on any more into these critical summer months.”

 

Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

 “The ongoing disruption due to the reduced ScotRail timetable continues to damage the summer prospects of many of Scotland’s key sectors such as culture, hospitality and tourism. This week’s industrial action will exacerbate the pain for businesses and communities across the country, with millions expected to be lost in consumer spending and footfall significantly reduced.

“As the critical summer season continues for tourism and hospitality businesses, the urgency of resolving this dispute cannot be overstated. All parties involved must get round the table in order to swiftly resolve the current dispute then work to restore Scotland’s rail timetable to full connectivity.”

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