Tram Passengers Could Face Festive Disruption As Staff Vote On Industrial Action

6 November 2018, 12:11

A tram on Edinburgh's York Place

Tram workers in Edinburgh are being balloted on industrial action, with unions warning a vote in favour could result in services being hit over the busy Christmas and New Year period.

The trade union Unite is sending out voting papers to its members, who it claims are left fearing for their jobs because of a "damaging culture of blame" within the organisation.

It also alleges disciplinary action taken against some of its members has been "unreasonable and unjust", although Edinburgh Trams has said it has confidence in its internal processes.

Workers have until November 26 to return their ballot papers, with a consultative vote earlier showing 83% in favour of taking action.

Unite said it anticipates any industrial action will take place in the run-up and over the Christmas and New Year period.

Both sides are scheduled to have talks at the conciliation service Acas on Thursday in a bid to end the dispute.

Unite regional officer Lyn Turner called on trams bosses to approach these in a "positive manner".

He said: "The strength of support for an industrial action ballot was rock-solid.

"The public of Edinburgh should know the reality here, which is that senior management at Edinburgh Trams have so far refused to engage with Unite on the legitimate concerns we have over the damaging and hostile culture which exists."

Mr Turner added: "Talks with Acas are scheduled to hopefully resolve this dispute but that will only happen if Edinburgh Trams management approach them in a positive manner which until now they have not."