ASLEF sends solidarity greetings to the CGT

09 April 2018

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union in the UK, has sent a message of solidarity to Gilbert Garrel, secretaire general de Federation Nationale des Cheminots CGT, in the dispute with SNCF and President Macron.

Mick has told French television and radio: ‘I urge France not to make the same mistakes that were made here in Britain. Privatisation hasn’t worked; privatisation doesn’t work; and privatisation will not work. It was an ideological, not a practical, decision, and we are suffering the consequences with the highest fares in Europe, the oldest rolling stock, and we see millions of euros haemhorrage from the system every year in the form of profits and dividends for the privateers.

‘Public utilities – such as gas, water, and postal services, as well as the railway – are natural monopolies which should, obviously, be run in the public, not the private, sector. For the public good – not for private profit. Especially as tens of millions of pounds goes from the Treasury – the taxpayer – to subsidise the running of the railways every year.

‘The neoliberal agenda is a busted flush – the global economic collapse ten years ago proved that – and here in Britain most people – even Conservative voters – now want to bring the railways back into public ownership.’

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