ScotRail engineers are to take part in a series of 24-hour walk-outs over the coming weeks – including during the Cop26 climate change conference.
Unite the Union has confirmed its members will take action at sites, including Inverness, in an ongoing row over pay.
Workers have already been taking part in industrial action short of a strike since September 24.
The action is separate to Sunday strikes involving conductors and ticket examiners, which has also threatened to disrupt services during Cop26, when world leaders and international media will be descending on Glasgow.
But earlier on Monday, the RMT union threatened to ensure no trains will run during Cop26 as staff are unhappy over proposed timetable changes.
When will the action take place?
In a statement issued on Monday, Unite says the days scheduled for 24-hour strike action are:
- Monday October 18-Tuesday October 19
- Monday November 1-Tuesday November 2
- Wednesday November 10-Thursday November 11
- Friday November 12-Saturday November 13
The action will affect a number of rail depots, offices and stations including Bathgate Depot, Corkerhill (Glasgow) Depot, Dalmuir, Glasgow Central, Glasgow Queen Street, Edinburgh Haymarket Depot, Edinburgh Waverley, Inverness Depot, Motherwell, Perth, Shields (Glasgow) Depot, and Yoker Depot.
Unite says the strikes will start at different times at the various locations.
Abellio ScotRail members of Unite voted 78% in support of strike action in a 68.4% ballot turnout, while 92% backed industrial action short of a strike.
Union bosses claim they have been left with “no choice” as pay talks have not found any conclusion.
It is unclear what impact the action will have on services across Scotland.
Unite industrial officer Pat McIlvogue said: “We want the Scottish public to know that we have exhausted the process.
“Unite’s members have been holding action short of strike in an attempt to get Abellio ScotRail to wake up, and to recognise the storm that they have created to no effect.
“Now strike action will severely disrupt events and the Cop26 climate change conference due to this shambolic company.”
Strikes ‘undermine’ railway recovery
Railway passenger numbers are still in the process of recovering after plummeting in the early days of the Covid lockdown.
The operator estimates services are currently running at about 50% of the level they were before the pandemic.
Transport Scotland has warned that strike action risks the recovery of the network – urging unions to continue talks to avoid disruption for passengers, particularly during Cop16.
A spokesman said: “Talks are on-going with many of the trade unions against a backdrop of significant financial challenges faced by the government.
“There are reasonable offers on the table which, through meaningful discussions about efficiencies and innovations, could lead to a pay rise.
“Any cancellations, as the result of industrial action, not only have the potential to undermine the recovery of our rail services but also impact on vital revenue streams from ticket sales.
“While we support the right of every worker and union to engage with their employers to seek a pay deal, Cop26 is Scotland and Glasgow’s chance to showcase the key role we see for rail in our sustainable future on a world stage.”
More to follow.