TRANSPORT unions won overwhelming support at the STUC Congress yesterday with passionate demands for public ownership of railways and ferries.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash pledged strike action if necessary to defend jobs, pay, conditions and lifeline services.
Mr Cash said: “It is deplorable that continued privatisation of transport has been carried out and continued by the main political parties of Scotland.
“Continued privatisation and fragmentation of our railways make it more likely that passenger and worker safety will be undermined by staffing cuts.
“This includes threats to extend driver-only operations, train destaffing and the continuation of the appalling practice of human waste being flushed onto the tracks.”
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes slammed “what is happening in Scotland under the watch of the SNP” and called for the return of railways in Scotland to public ownership.
“You’d think a sensible transport policy would be to undo the fragmentation which has taken place under privatisation — but what do the Scottish government do? They fragment even more by handing the keys to privateers like Serco and the Dutch company Abellio.”
He said: “Nicola Sturgeon gave us lots of soft soap here this week but I believe action speaks louder than words.”
“Look at what she’s doing with the ferries — we have it on good authority that CalMac are going to be flogged off.”
George Lonie of RMT said CalMac members “will not be sitting back to face the inevitable — we will ballot to retain our terms and conditions and defend these lifeline services.”