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Railway recast signals bad news for integrated public rail companies


16 Nov 2011



GUE/NGL MEP Sabine Wils said today's European Parliament vote on the establishment of a single European rail area "paves the way for private profiteering in Europe's railway sector".

With possibilities opened up for privatization of marshalling yards, maintenance facilities, operating services and subcontracting, the notion of integrated public railway companies where safety rules are paramount has been destroyed.

"Although the practice in the UK already shows that this is the wrong policy, the further liberalization of the railway sector and the further separation of rail and operating services to the detriment of employees, passengers and safety measures is now being implemented in Europe," said Wils.

"Fortunately, a parliamentary majority was found to defeat the Commission's proposal to introduce "minimum service" rules during strikes. Had this passed, the right to strike would have been severely damaged in Europe. The GUE/NGL group fought from the beginning, together with the trade unions, against the erosion of this right" added Wils.

The Commission has announced that in 2012, it will propose further "unbundling" of railway companies. "Again we will stand firmly with the trade unions to resist this" said Wils.

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:

David Lundy +32 485 50 58 12

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

European United Left / Nordic Green Left

European Parliamentary Group 


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