Glasgow: Police intervene at rail strike from RMT workers
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Glasgow has seen police intervene during Wednesday’s rail strike after RMT workers gathered in the city’s central railway station. Rail passengers are suffering fresh travel chaos on Wednesday after thousands of workers walked out on strike, crippling services across the country.
A large crowd of striking RMT members held a rally in the middle of Glasgow central train station, chanting and holding placards.
One of the striking workers fired up a sound system and began blaring out the 1996 hit song ‘Freed From Desire’ by Gala Rizzatto.
At this point, officers swooped in to silence the music and quickly became embroiled in a stand-off with the picketing workers.
The altercation quickly resolved itself with the workers moving on with their banner as the police followed along.
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Passengers are facing severe disruption across Scotland’s railways due to fresh strikes by thousands of workers in the bitter row over jobs, pay, and working conditions.
Industrial action by members of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail began on Wednesday morning, with just five services running across the country.
A limited number of trains are running on key routes between Glasgow and Edinburgh; Edinburgh and Bathgate; Glasgow and Hamilton/Larkhall; and Glasgow and Lanark.
Picket lines are being mounted outside railway stations across Scotland, including at Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley, and at depots.
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A protest is planned outside Network Rail’s head office in Glasgow.
ScotRail has urged passengers to check their journeys before travelling and only do so if necessary.
Trains are expected to be disrupted on Thursday morning as well, with a later start to services as employees return to duties.
Scotland’s transport minister said the UK Government needs to “inject the political willing” to resolve disputes across the rail network – but she insisted there is a distinction between the current strikes and the action taken by ScotRail staff in the last few weeks.
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Appearing on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Jenny Gilruth said it is “vitally important” for all parties to work together to find a resolution.
But she said the Department for Transport’s stance – that it is not the job of UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to resolve the problem himself – is “interesting”.
Ms Gilruth said: “You will recall that I was repeatedly called upon by opposition members, including those in the Conservative Party, to involve myself directly in the dispute that we’ve had in Scotland. I think it is important to draw a distinction between the dispute in Scotland, which was resolved and we have reinstated the full timetable in Scotland.
“That was done amicably and with respect on both sides, and what we’ve seen in the UK-wide dispute seems to be quite a different approach in the UK Government. with some belligerence from the UK Government.
“It’s vitally important now that Grant Shapps instructs Network Rail and the train operating companies to get back around the negotiating table with the trade unions, which is exactly what I did with ScotRail in the most recent dispute, so that we can get to that resolution to reinstate full services and to avoid any further strikes.”
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