Alex Rowley MSP has written to the Scottish Governments transport minister Derek Mackay to raise concerns over the Caledonian sleeper service and its management by Serco the firm chosen by the government to run the sleeper service.
Serco have been heavily criticised by RMT the trade union which represents rail workers who are employed on the Caledonian sleeper service for failing to maintain rolling stalk and to address numerous safety issues.
Alex highlighted these concerns in a parliamentary motion which he hopes will lead to a debate in the Scottish parliament in early 2016 and raised additional points highlighted by RMT about Sreco standing to benefit from the strike action by RMT in his letter to the transport minister.
Alex motion and letter can be found below:
That the Parliament notes that RMT members working on the Caledonian Sleeper service are in dispute with the new operator, Serco, and have voted by nine to one for both strike action and action short of a strike; understands that Serco has failed to address numerous defects with the Caledonian Sleeper rolling stock despite lengthy talks between RMT negotiators and Serco management and that this failure has led to the resounding vote for action by RMT members; acknowledges that RMT’s health and welfare concerns surrounding the Caledonian Sleeper rolling stock include smoke detectors being disconnected, toilets being inoperable, lighting and heating systems not working, air conditioning problems throughout the summer, no hot water in some coaches for hand washing purposes, water boilers not working, which means that staff must carry boiling water through coaches while the train is moving, pungent smells from toilets, an issue with batteries under some coaches also releasing a strong smell, loss of power in coaches during journeys, which means staff have to find alternative accommodation during the night for irate passengers and serious problems with a number of wheel flats, which has led to some services being completely cancelled and passengers being bussed from Scotland to London, and believes that RMT has identified over 200 defects with the Caledonian Sleeper rolling stock and that Serco’s failure to resolve these issues demonstrates that a below acceptable standard of service is being provided to members of the public across Scotland, including those from the Cowdenbeath constituency.