Politics

SNP Minister mocked for sustaining authorities can’t intervene in rail dispute as 700 companies are cancelled



An SNP Minister has been accused of “desperate spin” after claiming that the Scottish Government couldn’t intervene within the Scotrail strike dispute that has led to the cancellation of 700 companies from Monday.

As Scottish commuters face rail chaos Richard Lochhead, the SNP Employment Minister, stated he hoped the Scotrail strike issues might be “sorted soon” however distanced the Holyrood authorities from the not too long ago nationalised service.

Lochhead, talking to the BBC’s Sunday Show, describing the rail community as being at “arms length” from the federal government however was rapidly ridiculed by opponents and commerce unions.

Lochhead stated: “This is a matter between ScotRail and the unions, and we’re urging them as hard as we can to get this resolved as quickly as possible.”

A 2.2 per cent pay provide and a share possibility settlement has been has rejected by the unions Aslef and RMT, which described it as “derisory”.

Lochhead stated: “My message to all workers in Scotland and all these sectors is we have to be sensible, everything has to be affordable because the country’s in a very, very precarious position at the moment, and if we take wrong decisions we could end up with a recession in the near future, which will cause a lot of damage to people’s lives and local business in Scotland and our economy.”

“It’s not for me as a minister to say what’s the right or wrong wage for a train driver or anyone else.”

“But just to say that it’s really important that people are compromising, being constructive, and recognise the consequences of these disputes dragging on for too long.”

Lochhead’s feedback had been rapidly disputed by the commerce union negotiators.

ASLEF Scottish Organiser Kevin Lindsay stated: “Richard Lochhead said he wants people to be ‘sensible’ over pay claims – from an ASLEF point of view the most sensible thing that he could do right now is to tell ScotRail to get back to the negotiating table to settle this dispute so that the ridiculous timetable cuts that are planned for tomorrow can be withdrawn and our railways can get back to serving the public.”

He added: “ It is not sensible to ask workers to accept 2.2% when inflation is heading north of 10% and it is not credible to blame workers for the state of the economy. ‘

Scottish Labour’s transport spokesman Neil Bibby said Lochhead’s comments had been “desperate spin”.

The MSP stated: “The minister had no answers to the chaos engulfing ScotRail on the SNP’s watch. To claim that the Government cannot act is laughable. The Government run ScotRail therefore they own these cuts and own this crisis.”

Economist Tony Mackay has estimated the dispute may initially price the Scottish economic system between £75 million and £80 million each week, with 700 companies to be cancelled per day from Monday.

Mackay advised the Sunday Times that the preliminary price could be from a mix of the autumn in financial output and the additional cash spent by travellers on issues like taxi fares.

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