ScotRail says “no rail services” will be provided outside Glasgow and Edinburgh for two weeks during COP26, if strikes go ahead.
Rail bosses have given RMT union until 5pm today to accept a 4.7% pay deal or they insist the “offer is off the table”, with just days until the climate conference begins.
David Simpson, operations director at ScotRail, told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland that should strike action go ahead during the summit, only two routes are likely to run.
These would focus on connecting Glasgow and Edinburgh and running a service from Glasgow Central to the city’s SEC, where COP26 is being held.
‘No rail services’
He added that “if the RMT strike goes ahead there will be no rail services” outside these routes and the rail operator is “unable” to provide replacement buses.
The RMT rail union said a “gun is being pointed at its head” after a Wednesday deadline was set for accepting a pay offer which would avoid a strike during COP26.
Members of the union who work for ScotRail plan to strike during the two-week global climate conference in protest at pay and conditions, with action due to begin on November 1.
Scotland’s Transport Minister Graeme Dey said he “hopes” a strike can be avoided but admitted the “signs are not optimistic”.
Mr Simpson told the BBC ScotRail has been “talking continuously” since improving the offer it made to them.
He added: “The other three trade unions have accepted that offer and we’re hopeful that RMT will reconsider their position and accept what is a very positive offer given the financial position of the industry at present by the deadline tonight to enable us to plan for a rail’s service during the COP26 summit and deliver rail’s contribution to that event.”
‘Ball is in the SNP’s court’
Mr Dey is already facing calls to quit if a deal cannot be reached to prevent the strike during the climate summit – which is set to bring some 30,000 people to Glasgow.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said “time is running out to get a fair deal for Scotland’s rail workers and avoid a shutdown during COP26”.
He added: “We stand ready to get back round the table right now but the political leadership in Scotland need to lift their arbitrary deadlines and clear the road blocks to getting those talks back on.
“The ball is in the SNP’s court. They need to take responsibility for bringing us to this point and get into a dialogue with the union that puts pay justice on the agenda. We are waiting.”