RAIL catering workers in Scotland were told they would be made redundant yesterday just days after privateer bosses imposed a price rise to increase profits.
The eight staff are employed by contractor Skytrac and are based at Edinburgh Waverley station providing services to First TransPennine Express (TPE), which operates services between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester Airport.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said the redundancies are the result of a squabble between privateers which includes Skytrac’s free use of premises owned by operator ScotRail as its base.
RMT said the squabble descended into a farcical argument that the jobs had to go because staff would not have access to hot water after ScotRail told Skytrac to quit the site.
The union said: “RMT is of the opinion that the staff have lost their jobs because of what amounts to a penny-pinching row between First and Skytrac.”
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “It defies belief that this hard-working group of staff were issued redundancy notices while they were working.
“First TransPennine Express have sat idly by and watched eight hard-working individuals thrown onto the employment scrapheap without any intervention. These staff members have repeatedly gone way beyond their job description — from helping during breakdowns to helping during medical emergencies. They have been caught in the middle of a turf war between First and their contractors and that is disgraceful.”
He said RMT is demanding urgent talks with Skytrac.
The union plans to ensure the issue is raised in the Scottish and Westminster parliaments.