RAIL WORKERS from across Britain will be heading for Lille tomorrow (Tuesday, April 13) to join a Europe-wide union protest against dangerous EU rules opening up rail traffic to competition.

 

Some 200 RMT members will be among trade unionists from 14 countries converging the European Railway Agency’s (ERA) headquarters demanding that safety be put ahead of profit and the dangerous ‘liberalisation’ of Europe’s railways

 

The RMT delegation will be seen off at 07:30 close to St Pancras International by the Alabama Three.

 

The Lille demonstration will demand clear commitment from the ERA that rail safety and jobs will not be sacrificed in the interests of competition and profit, and sustainable development of publicly owned and socially responsible railways.

 

“Unions across Europe are united against the systematic destruction of national rail networks, jobs and safety standards brought by the implementation of EU rail liberalisation packages, ,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today.

 

“Liberalisation might sound harmless and even cosy, but we have already seen fatal crashes like the one between commuter trains in Belgium in February, and now there are demands to dilute the Channel tunnel’s safety rules to allow competition.

 

“Millions of people across Europe believe that railways should be a public service not a commodity to be smashed up and exploited by privateers who, ultimately, are only interested in profit.

 

“Big business and the Eurocrats are implementing this dangerous experiment without any democratic mandate to do so whatsoever,” Bob Crow said