Monday, January 31, 2022

Union Protest Calls Scottish Government Climate Policy After COP26 a Betrayal

Pre-Election Campaign to Demand Change of Direction
Shipping News Feature

UK – With local government elections in May in Scotland approaching, the RMT transport union has begun a series of actions to protest at what it calls a 'betrayal' of commitments made by the Scottish National Party (SNP)/Green government at the COP26 climate change conference three months ago.

The protest by rail, ferry and energy workers who are members of the RMT saw union members march on the office of the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today (31 January) marking that three monthly anniversary.

The RMT has levied a batch of charges against the SNP which it says goes against the aspirations of the Conference. These include:

  • Instead of cutting climate change, the SNP/ Green Government is cutting rail services including rail ticket offices hours, timetables and infrastructure while the cost of rail travel is increasing at four times the rate of using a car.
  • Instead of securing the country’s vital lifeline ferry services in the public sector, ministers appear to be paving the way for privatisation where profits will be put before people and climate.
  • Instead of helping guarantee the livelihoods of energy workers, ministers have sold Scotland’s renewable energy resources on the cheap to the likes of BP and Shell without securing supply chain jobs.

The protest began from Edinburgh’s Waverley station before moving on to Bute House to a protest at the official residence of the First Minister, at Charlotte Square. RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch has threatened a continuing campaign in the run up to the elections, saying:

“COP26 started only three months ago but already the lofty rhetoric about fighting climate change seems a distant memory as we witness a betrayal of ambitions by the SNP / Green Government to move towards a greener Scotland. Instead of cutting climate change, the Government is cutting rail services and ticket offices, threatening the privatisation of our lifeline ferry services and doing far too little to protect the livelihoods of energy workers and the vital service they provide.

”As the country approaches the local government elections in May this protest will be the start of a concerted campaign to persuade politicians to protect these services and jobs which are so vital to our local communities."

The RMT policy document on the matter can be downloaded HERE.

Photo: The protest will be attended by other union groups.