Members of the RMT Union will stage a protest outside the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood on Thursday. The RMT are in dispute with Scotrail over their desire to extend driver-only operations on trains. The Dutch state-owned rail company, Abellio, has been awarded the ScotRail franchise, with the profits being sent back to invest in the Dutch railways. The RMT argues that Abellio is seeking to maximise profits at the expense of the safety of the travelling public by attacking the safety-critical role of the guard on our trains.
Scotrail/Abellio’s parent company, Dutch state-owned Nederlandse Spoorwegen, annual report for 2015 states:
“Revenue from passenger transport increased by €821m (£644.8m) primarily due to the start of the ScotRail franchise on 1 April 2015.”
At the same Dominic Booth, MD and Senior Director of Abellio ScotRail, received £525,790 for 2014, an annual pay increase of nearly 35% (£136,246). The Scotrail Franchise was awarded to Abellio in October 2014
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "Our members on ScotRail are standing firm and united in the industrial action as they fight to defend the safety-critical role of the guard."
He declared: "there is a very real threat to passengers of watering down and wiping out the safety critical role of the guard on these Scotrail services. That is a lethal gamble with basic rail safety."