Unions across Europe joined protests on October 9 outside European Commission offices to condemn plans to impose rail privatisation across the European Union.
The set of proposals in the Fourth Railway Package include making the tendering of rail passenger services mandatory and enforcing the separation of train operation from infrastructure management in every EU member state.
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.
“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 European Transport Workers Federation 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.
“Liberalisation and fragmentation do not bring any good to the railways. We have to stop it now!”
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