Prime Minister (Meetings)

Part of First Minister's Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:01 pm on 8th March 2007.

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Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour 12:01 pm, 8th March 2007

That is not what I said, actually. I said that I spoke to Network Rail "again ... this morning". The Minister for Transport and I and our officials have had discussions on the issue.

I will make the same point to Annabel Goldie as I made to Nicola Sturgeon. First, the dispute is between a private company and its employees sp they should resolve it. Secondly, there is no need for the dispute: the discussions could easily continue again this week and for a number of weeks before the new 35-hour week is meant to be introduced. In addition, Network Rail and the management have offered to go to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. The trade union should at the very least be willing to accept that offer. If it is not, it should be round the table this afternoon negotiating with Network Rail rather than striking and putting commuters and other passengers at some disadvantage.