MICK Lynch, the RMT's general secretary, has appeared on the picket line in Glasgow with striking ScotRail workers. 

Members of the railyway worker union are taking part in 24-hour industrial action on Monday over an ongoing pay dispute with the train operator. 

Passengers have been warned to “only travel if they really need to” with only “a very limited number of services” operating. 

Speaking to Heart Scotland News outside Queen Street station, Lynch said: “Well it’s better that ScotRail is with the Scottish Government, it’s better that the profit motive has been taken out and the contractors have gone. 

READ MORE: Travel disruption warning as ScotRail strikes continue

“I’m not here to pick the Scottish Government, the Scottish people elect that and that’s their responsibility. 

“We want to do a deal with Nicola Sturgeon and ministers, whoever they put at the table, which is the ScotRail management, that’s where it’s devolved to. 

“We’d be very happy to make an agreement with them and as soon as we can do that we’ll get on with the job of running Scotland and moving the people around their businesses and their leisure and to help the economy and we’re very happy to do that. 

“We haven’t got a beef with the Scottish Government, we’ve got a beef with ScotRail as an employer and they’ve just got to do better on the pay.”

Last Thursday, the union rejected ScotRail’s latest pay offer of 5%, which the train operator had tabled in a bid to avert the latest round of strike action. 

The dispute is separate from the RMT’s unresolved deal with Network Rail, which has seen disruption across the whole of the UK railway network on a number of days since July. 

Lynch explained why workers were striking. He said: “Well, they’re here because the pay offer that they’ve had in terms of their salary is not enough. 

“It doesn’t add up to anywhere near the current cost-of-living and the inflation rates as measured by [retail price index] or [consumer price index] whichever way you want to measure it so our members are determined to get a proper pay deal that’s a straightforward increase in their salary and at the moment, ScotRail and Transport Scotland are not offering that and so we’ve got to make them come back to the table and offer us a proper deal that our members can support and at the moment we’re not there. 

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“I’m very confident in our members, we’ve seen on the British-wide rail dispute, they support the dispute all the way through the picket lines are very vibrant wherever we go and our members are committed to the dispute. 

“They want pay justice and they’re determined to get it so that’s heartening but the quicker we can get a deal, the better we can get Scotland back on the railway.” 

Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s head of customer operations, said: “We’re really disappointed that the dispute with the RMT has reached this outcome, given the strength of the improved pay offer ScotRail made. 

“This strike action does nothing for the railway’s recovery at this fragile time. It will severely impact our customers and it will also cost our staff through lost wages.”

He said ScotRail remains “open to resolving this dispute”.