Package Protest

09 October 2013

ASLEF activists joined forces with trade unionists across Europe this morning to condemn proposals by the European Commission to force privatisation on countries across the continent.

The innocuous-sounding Fourth Railway Package, the Commission’s proposals for a ‘single European railway area to foster European competitiveness and growth’, is a new set of rules and regulations from Brussels designed to impose British-style privatisation on rail services in every EU member state.

Mick Whelan says: ‘The problem is that privatisation of the railways doesn’t work. Sir Roy McNulty, in his report, pointed out that Britain’s railways are much more expensive, after privatisation, than railways on the continent. And now Europe wants to take the British, and more expensive, route!’

That’s why Mick was protesting outside the European Commission’s offices in London this morning. He was joined by Dick Fisher, District 6 Organiser, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North, Katy Clark, Labour MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, Grahame Morris, Labour MP for Easington, Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA, and Stuart Howard, assistant general secretary of the ITF, outside the Commission’s offices in Smith Square.

The TUC and Action for Rail also organised action at Commission offices in Edinburgh and Cardiff as part of a European-wide day of action called by the European Transport Workers’ Federation.

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the TUC and chair of Action for Rail, said: ‘The Fourth Railway Package will entrench and extend UK rail privatisation and overseas control of UK railways. Imposing these measures across the EU would be a disaster for passengers and taxpayers alike.

“We have grave concerns that future UK governments will be unable to create a railway that puts passengers and public first – or any opportunity to deliver publicly owned and run services that have been such a success on the East Coast Main Line.”

Mick added: ‘Privatisation hasn’t worked in Britain and it won’t work in the rest of Europe. It’s not the right model for Britain and it’s not the right model for the European Union.’

You can email your MEP and let them know that you want them to oppose the Fourth Railway Package in the European Parliament here.

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