TSSA's Manuel Cortes Slams ScotRail Boss For Trying To Gag Union

The TSSA has come out swinging after ScotRail’s head of HR John Gillies tried to prevent their General Secretary from speaking out against the danger cuts pose for passenger safety.

In a meeting yesterday, TSSA officials laid bare the danger posed by the rolling programme of job losses which have left security cameras unattended. But rather than engage constructively to end the dispute, Gillies claimed the main problem was not the massive threat posed to public safety, but the fact that it had been exposed. He tried to prevent Manuel Cortes, the TSSA General Secretary, from even receiving information about the meeting’s proceedings, and lambasted Cortes for telling the public what was really going on.

In response, Cortes said:

"ScotRail is not a personal fiefdom for John Gillies to arrogantly stomp over. It is a public railway and the public have a right to expect decent safety standards are being observed.”

"If Gillies thinks he can shut me up, he can think again. The safety of our members at work is the reason this union exists in the first place. The arrogance of vindictive bosses like Gillies who think they can order their workers and their representatives around should have died out a long time ago. Sadly, it remains all too real and it's why TSSA working with a free press is such an important method of holding ScotRail to account.

"Far from shutting up, it is high time to shout out about the regime of jeopardy over which Gillies reigns. Our members have been incredibly patient with Abellio ScotRail over their deliberate attempts to risk passenger and staff safety. In fact, we have tried to negotiate a resolution for the last six months and my members’ patience has now run out.”

"Gillies is scared of bad PR because he is a PR disaster and ScotRail is now drinking in the last chance saloon. Either they up their game and finally start negotiating in good faith or as night follows day, industrial action will become inevitable. I call on the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, to tell ScotRail to censor Gillies order him to cut his Lord High and Mighty act and start engaging with us. Make no mistake, our members have had more than enough."

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