KEY workers and commuters on the Fife Circle will be disrupted for the next five Sunday’s due to strike action.

ScotRail has told customers to expect “significant” disruption due to RMT members voting to strike.

The union said more than 75 per cent of members were in favour of striking and it has instructed them not to book on for any shifts that start on April 4, 11, 18 and 25 and May 2.

The union said it would give notice of further Sundays of action if no agreement was reached with the company.

RMT said the strike would go ahead in a fight for “equality and justice over enhanced payments for rest-day working”.

It means that services will be cancelled on a number of key routes, including on the Fife Circle.

Services will be cancelled from Edinburgh to Inverkeithing/Glenrothes/Kirkcaldy/Perth/Dundee.

For key workers, limited bus services will be running for Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline and Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

Customers are being advised to check their journeys to make sure trains are still running on their route.

Anyone who has already purchased a ticket can travel either the day before or day after the strike action, alternatively, a refund is available.

RMT’s general secretary, Mick Cash, said: “I have no doubt that our ScotRail members will show full support and stand shoulder to shoulder during the days of industrial action.

“It’s frankly disgusting that rather than recognising the issues at the heart of this dispute the company have resorted to disgraceful mud-slinging.

“Staff at the frontline who have put themselves at huge risk during this pandemic will take no lectures from company bosses who have kept themselves well clear from danger.

“We have made it clear that we will not allow ScotRail to divide the workforce and are demanding that ScotRail do what is fair and honour an enhanced rate for rest-day working for all grades.”

The union also said all its Abellio ScotRail conductor members had been instructed not to work any rest days or undertake any higher grade duties from 12.01am last Friday, until further notice.

ScotRail said in a statement: “Conductors will be taking part in the industrial action for six consecutive Sundays, in a bid to force an increase in overtime payments at a time when ScotRail is facing its worst ever financial crisis.

“It means that services will be cancelled on a number of key routes and will have a significant impact on people who need to travel, including NHS workers delivering a critical service during the pandemic.

“The strike comes with passenger numbers and revenue down more than 90 per cent compared to before the pandemic. Coronavirus restrictions, including the instruction for people to work from home, have resulted in the number of people travelling with ScotRail to plummet.

“Throughout the pandemic, ScotRail has continued to provide services for key workers who are reliant on trains to get them to work in order to perform life-saving duties on the emergency frontline, hospitals, and care homes.

“The RMT balloted its conductor members despite all ScotRail jobs being protected thanks to emergency Scottish Government support, with no staff placed on furlough or any cuts to basic wages or terms and conditions.

“An Emergency Measures Agreement (EMA) is being worked on with the Scottish Government, which will continue until at least September 2021, and will mean ScotRail can continue to operate services for key workers and keep its 5,200 staff in secure jobs.

“Between March and September 2020, the Scottish Government invested an additional £215 million in subsidy to allow ScotRail to operate a service for key workers and pay staff wages.

“However, due to the industrial action being taken by RMT conductor members, the train operator says it will not be able to provide the same level of services to essential workers over the next six Sundays.”

Graham Ralston, ScotRail head of conductors, stated: “The strike action will have no impact on ScotRail’s position on overtime pay increases, given the severe financial challenges we face.

“The strike is wrong during a global pandemic and will have a significant impact on those who need to make essential journeys.

“We will do everything we can to minimise the consequences of this action, but key workers will be adversely affected.

“Inevitably, many will have to find alternative and much less convenient ways to get to work to perform their life-saving duties.”