One of the most militantly left-wing trade unions has told members the European Parliament’s decision to back opening rail routes across the European Union (EU) to more competition for private operators is another reason to vote leave in the referendum.
As long-term opponent of rail privatisation, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has told its 80,000 members the European Parliament’s support for the EU’s ‘Fourth Railway Package’ is a further reason to back the Leave campaign in June’s referendum.
According to the EU, the policy aims to remove any remaining barriers to the creation of a single European rail area. As part of it, the European Council has already agreed that mandatory competitive tendering should be the main way of awarding public service contracts.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash likened the ‘Fourth Railway Package’ to what he believes is the failed rail privatisation by Conservatives in Britain over twenty years ago. He claimed what was then done in the UK using the First Railway Directive (EU directive 91/440) is now being imposed without a mandate on 500 million people across the continent by EU diktat, saying:
“This rail package is designed to privatise railways across Europe and its proposals are remarkably similar to the McNulty report on the future of GB railways, imposing further fragmentation and attacks on workers.
“McNulty, the Tory government and the EU share the business-led mania for privatisation and agree on the need to jack up fares and attack jobs, pay and pensions to pay for it, no-one has voted for that.
“It is impossible to make changes to this privatisation juggernaut inside the undemocratic EU so the only solution is to get out by voting Leave on June 23.”
As Breitbart London previously reported, the RMT does not share the pro-EU stance of Trades Union Congress leaders. Mr. Cash said his union is “proud to stand up for the tradition of progressive and socialist opposition to the European Union, an organisation wedded to privatisation, austerity and attacking democracy.”
Summing up his opposition he explained: “It’s a myth that the EU is in favour of workers.”