TSSA Look To Secure Meeting With Nicola Sturgeon After ScotRail Sexism Row
After one of the TSSA’s senior organisers was allegedly threatened in a sexist manner by ScotRail’s Managing Director, Alex Hynes, the union is seeking a one-to-one meeting with Nicola Sturgeon in the hopes of stamping out intimidating behaviour.
Hynes requested that one of the officials - the only woman - stay behind after a meeting called to discuss the dangerous cuts being made to worker and passenger safety in ScotRail. He told her that unless TSSA’s General Secretary Manuel Cortes ceased making “personal” remarks, she would be excluded from all future meetings.
TSSA has slammed Hynes for isolating the only woman rail organiser in Scotland in an attempt to intimidate her and threaten the union’s democratic right to represent their members.
They denied that Cortes had ever made “personal” remarks about Hynes. Perhaps he takes having his repeated failures exposed personally. Or perhaps he objected to the publicity surrounding his £250,000 salary - the highest of any civil servant in Scotland - in light of the cuts coming to ordinary workers on the railways.
The union has decided that the only way to fight the entrenched sexism in Scotland’s railways is to go right to the top, and has requested a personal meeting between Nicola Sturgeon, the union’s head of Communications Carmel Nolan, and the organiser in question.
Responding to the news, Nolan said:
“Isolating the only woman union official in the room then asking her to stay behind then threatening her with exclusion from future professional talks at her very first meeting with the company is no longer acceptable practice,” said Carmel.
“Women are still a rare breed in the Scottish - indeed the whole British - Transport industry. ScotRail’s normalised male senior management culture did not allow them to see the consequence that imposing night shifts on women with children meant those women were faced with the unacceptable choice of giving up their jobs or leaving their children home alone at night.
“And many women, like many men, will be puzzled to understand why Mr Hynes thinks revealing he was not at talks to resolve strike action at ScotRail despite earning a salary of £255,000 for the privilege of keeping the trains running constitutes an unacceptable “personal“ remark.
“Hynes is defensive, thin-skinned and clearly offended that our General Secretary has asked Humza Yousaf to intervene to make the company see sense. And that we have yet again won the PR battle with ScotRail whose vindictive management style shows why trades union membership is such a necessary feature of working life on ScotRail.