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Railway reform threatens to sell workers and passengers to highest bidder

Date

11 Oct 2011

Sections

Transport

GUE/NGL MEPs voted against a recast of the first railway package, which aims to merge and update existing directives with a view to completing the single market in the railway sector, as it takes "no consideration of the impact of this package on the duties of social and public services."

"The obligations of public services are neglected and investment in rolling stock used by commuters or freight services will be reduced as these facilities have to be opened to competition" said Jaromír Kohlíček MEP.

"If maintenance facilities are not used to their full potential, they have to be rented or leased to private railway companies. What about workers? Are they to be sold the highest bidder also?" Kohlíček asked.

"We are highly concerned about safety issues - these should in no way be subjected to competition rules" said Sabine Wils MEP.

"We succeeded in keeping out any European rule on a minimum service levels in cases of strike action and managed to ensure that salaries and pensions are considered as costs related to train operation" Wils said. Efforts to intensify the separation of railway operators and infrastructure - "unbundling" - were also rejected.

The package is to be voted in the Strasbourg plenary in November.

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:

David Lundy +32 485 50 58 12

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

david.lundy@europarl.europa.eu

gabrielle.kavanagh@europarl.europa.eu

European United Left / Nordic Green Left

European Parliamentary Group

www.guengl.eu 

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