PROTESTS AT EU COMMISSION THIS WEEK DEMAND AN END TO EU RAIL PRIVATISATION
RAIL UNION RMT will be backing the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF) and Action for Rail day of action against EU rail privatisation with protests outside European Commission Offices in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh this Wednesday October 9.
The European Union’s so called “Fourth Rail Package” aims to enforce the fragmentation and privatisation of domestic rail services across the continent, including the compulsory competitive tendering of rail passenger services and separation of infrastructure and operations.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said that the package was just the latest in a long line of EU rail diktats designed to create a “Single European Rail Market” which would entrench privatisation in Britain and across Europe.
Bob Crow, who will be attending the London protest, said:
“The package would mean that the currently publicly owned East Coast will have to be put out to tender under EU law, unleashing a widespread attack on the jobs and conditions of rail workers and social dumping which will spark a race to the bottom of rail workers conditions.
“This disastrous EU business model of privatisation is now being rolled out across all our industries from postal services to health care, turning them into cash machines for the big global corporations which are only interested in profit.”
“The ETF/Action for Rail protests this week are a clear signal to the European Commission that unions will not allow the wholesale destruction of jobs and services at the behest of the banks and the EU bureaucracy.”
In their statement, the European Transport Workers Federation, which is co-ordinating protests across the Continent this week as part of a global transport workers week of action, said:
“Competition will put pressure to cut costs and will have the effect to decrease employment, increase outsourcing and sub-contracting of services, increase a-typical and precarious employment, increase the use of agency workers, intensify work load and work pressure, increase of flexible working hours, split work shifts, overtime, etc. All this without taking into account the consequences in terms of quality of services and in terms of safety and security for the passengers.
“Liberalisation and fragmentation do not bring any good to the railways. We have to stop it now!”
The following demonstrations will take place at 09.00 outside the offices of the European Commission and will coincide with key decisions being taken at the European Parliament’s Transport Committee.
London: Europe House, 32 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3EU
Cardiff: 2 Caspian Point/2 Pentir Caspian,Caspian Way/Ffordd Caspian, Cardiff/Caerdydd, CF10 4QQ
Edinburgh: 9 Alva Street Edinburgh EH2 4PH