Following news that the Caledonian Sleeper strike is to go ahead today, and after it emerged that the franchise agreement allows for public money to reimburse the operator for industrial action, Scottish Labour Environmental Justice spokesperson David Stewart said:

“No one wants to see industrial action, but for train workers to have to take that action over safety concerns is nothing short of shocking.

Serious questions are already being asked about the SNP’s handling of our key public transport links, including the potential privatisation of the CalMac ferries and the problems with the ScotRail franchise since it was awarded to the Dutch firm Abellio.

The Caledonian Sleeper contract was only handed to Serco in March. To be seeing these problems already suggests that the SNP Government didn’t do their homework before awarding the franchise.

Now we see that the Scottish taxpayer may have to reimburse Serco for their own failure to handle industrial relations. That would be a ridiculous decision and the SNP Government should rule it out as quickly as possible.”