Congress on Transport

10 September 2013

The Trades Union Congress backed a composite motion on rail privatisation and the fourth railway package, moved by the TSSA, seconded by ASLEF, and supported by the RMT, during the transport debate on Tuesday morning, immediately after Ed Miliband’s address.

The motion calls on the general council to continue to campaign for a publicly owned rail network which works in the public interest; to lobby to prevent the fourth railway package passing into law; to work with the ETUC to prevent the mistakes of privatisation in Britain are not rolled out across Europe and made irreversible here; and to mobilise for days of action against the fourth rail package on 9 October and for the 20th anniversary of rail privatisation on 5 November.

Andy Botham, speaking from the platform, told delegates: ‘The fourth railway package is an innocent name for a vile piece of legislation which opens the way for Europe-wide privatisation of the railways.

‘This is part of the European Commission’s obsession with free markets. But privatisation of the railway doesn’t work here and it won’t work in the rest of Europe. Since privatisation £11 billion has been pumped into the pockets of the privateers. We have the highest rail fares in Europe.

‘Public transport doesn’t work in the private sector. The privateers will run the profitable routes and the non-profitable routes will be closed or have to be funded by the state.

‘HS1cost the taxpayer £6 billion and was sold for £2 billion. HS2 is set to cost more than £80 billion and will probably be sold off for a fraction of that price.

‘We need to resist this legislation and push for the renationalisation of our railways, not support this scam to be spread throughout Europe.

‘My members are tired of being touted off to the highest bidder every five or seven years, treated like cattle at an auction.

‘We need a commitment from the Labour Party that not only will they oppose this legislation but they will commit to the renationalisation of our railways.’

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