PASSENGERS on the Fife Circle face further disruption after team managers voted for strike action in a dispute over staff shortages.

Gateline staff at ScotRail stations have also joined conductors, ticket examiners and cleaners in taking industrial action over a pay dispute.

Over the last three months, weekly strikes have been held by conductors and ticket inspectors.

This has meant services in Fife – and across the country – have been halted on Sundays with limited bus services being laid on for workers at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline and Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

Now rail staff union TSSA has written to ScotRail warning it to expect industrial action after members working as conductor, revenue and on-train team managers with ScotRail voted for strike action in a complaint about being forced to fill in for absences caused by other industrial actions or understaffing.

Members voted by 62.5 per cent for strike action, and 93.75 per cent for action short of strike.

It has been further confirmed gateline staff will begin a work-to-rule from next month.

TSSA general secretary, Manuel Cortes, said: “Our members in the team manager grades do difficult and demanding jobs. They have gone to work, day in and day out throughout the pandemic, keeping the trains running safely. They’re not there to fill in for absence caused by industrial action or understaffing.

“Our members have rightly said no, and when the company wouldn’t listen, they voted for industrial action. The ball’s in Abellio’s court now. Make no mistake if Abellio continues down this path, our members will be out on strike.”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said ScotRail gateline staff would be taking industrial action next month in their fight for pay justice.

“Their dispute runs alongside those of other grades at the company whose disputes have run for four months in what are now some of Britain’s longest-running industrial disputes,” he added.

“With yet another grade taking industrial action at ScotRail over the same issue, we call again on Transport Scotland, the government and Abellio to face the fact that there is a real problem that needs urgently resolving and sit down with us to negotiate a fair and just settlement for all grades.”

ScotRail has urged staff to come together to rebuild Scotland’s railways, saying industrial action is “completely wrong” for staff and customers as services become more increasingly used with the easing of lockdown.

Phil Campbell, head of customer operations, said: “ScotRail is facing huge financial challenges, so industrial action over increased overtime payments is completely wrong for staff and customers as we are now starting to see customers return to Scotland’s railway.

“The rejection of strike action shows that RMT bosses are becoming increasingly out of sync with views of their own members, who want to create a more sustainable railway for the future.

“We call on the union’s leaders in Scotland to stop this damaging campaign of disruption.”