Alter Summit supports a public rail network in France and elsewhere

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Emmanuel Macron’s government is attacking the SNCF. Alter Summit will support the actions that will be decided upon, such as the mobilisation on 22 March for the public service, which is also beyond the railways, a day of mobilisation for the entire public service.

Brussels, 21st March 2018

Support SNCF workers, contribute to the strike fund

Emmanuel Macron’s government is attacking the SNCF. Alter Summit would like to express its full support for the company’s workers, all subcontractors, users and citizens who would pay the price for this privatization and dismantling of an efficient public service. The Macron government wants to impose this policy "before the summer". We will support the actions that will be decided upon, such as the mobilisation on 22 March for the public service, which is also beyond the railways, a day of mobilisation for the entire public service. In this respect, we recall our commitment to quality public services already expressed :
http://www.altersummit.eu/accueil/article/statement-defend-and-promote-public-services-everywhere

Rail policy: a national and European issue
For several years, successive governments have tried to weaken the public dimension of the SNCF and the status of railway workers, to set up a minimum service or even to "rationalise" the network (including closing unprofitable lines)... Moreover, in recent decades investments have concentrated on high-speed lines (which carry only a minority of passengers), thus abandoning the regional and proximity network. This has been the way for governments to weaken a trade union stronghold that in case of social conflict can block an entire country...

In France, "road transport is the most oil-intensive sector and travel is now 95% dependent on oil resources. More than 80% of the distances travelled in France are by private car compared to 11% by train and 6% by bus and coach. 87% of goods now pass by road, barely 10% by rail. Rail’s share has been divided by three in the last 30 years." (www.emplois-climat.fr , http://emplois-climat.fr/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/synth%C3%A9se-rapport-4-pages-V-2-21-09-2017.pdf )

But the process of liberalisation and privatisation of the rail sector is also a long European history. From the first debates in the 1970s until 1996 with the White Paper "A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways", official texts defined the main lines of the European strategy in this area, a strategy which would later be implemented in the various "railway packages".

The first railway package (2001) aimed essentially at introducing a legal and functional separation between the infrastructure manager responsible for the establishment, management and maintenance of the railway infrastructure, and the railway undertaking providing freight and/or passenger transport services. The second railway package (2004) set 1 January 2007 at the latest as the date for opening up all rail freight services in the Union to competition. It also established the European Railway Agency (ERA). The third railway package (2007) set 1 January 2010 at the latest as the date for opening up international passenger transport services to competition. Finally, the fourth package, presented on 30 January 2013, must complete liberalisation. It lays down two basic provisions: the opening up of domestic passenger transport services to competition and the deepening of the separation between infrastructure manager and railway undertaking.

More generally, European transport policy has implemented the liberalisation of all means of transport, namely road, river, sea and air transport. The main beneficiary of this liberalisation remains road transport (and to a lesser extent air transport), which has largely developed since the launch of this policy, widening the gap with other modes of transport, in particular rail.

We recall that, given the climate emergency and in the perspective of an ecological transition, rail has a major role to play. The European Commission’s "Transport 2050" plan certainly aims to promote rail and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector by 60% by the middle of the century. But this may only be a wishful thinking if the process of liberalisation, privatisation and dismantling of the rail sector continues...

This process of liberalisation and privatisation - which has been fought in Great Britain (where rail renationalisation is called for), Germany, Belgium, etc. - goes against a universally accessible public service (price, geographical access) and an ambitious climate policy based on rapid and low-polluting transport.

Let us support the struggles in France against the "reform" of the SNCF by declaring our solidarity and above all by reinforcing the struggles in our respective countries !

For your solidarity messages
sud.rail.federation@gmail.com
https://www.cheminotcgt.fr/contacts/#general (formulaire)

Trade unions release :
https://www.cheminotcgt.fr/actions/action-du-22-03-18/22-mars-2018-appel-a-la-manifestation-unitaire-a-paris/
Voir également sur https://sudrail.fr

Links (different languages)
White paper :
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FR/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:51996DC0421&from=FR
Railway packages :
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/fr/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_3.4.5.html

National campaigns
Deutschland : http://www.bahn-fuer-alle.de/
United Kingdom : http://actionforrail.org/
Privatization in UK
https://www.latribune.fr/economie/union-europeenne/au-royaume-uni-la-privatisation-des-chemins-de-fer-deraille-628489.html
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/05/the-guardian-view-on-rail-privatisation-going-off-the-tracks
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/10/labour-party-manifesto-pledges-to-end-tuition-fees-and-nationalise-railways
http://hummedia.manchester.ac.uk/institutes/cresc/sites/default/files/GTR%20Report%20final%205%20June%202013.pdf
https://www.citymetric.com/transport/case-re-nationalising-britains-rail-network-1375
Belgium :
http://www.lalibre.be/economie/libre-entreprise/le-rail-belge-en-questions-66-la-sncb-roule-t-elle-vers-la-privatisation-56c6019035700f74a6e4b4c5
https://csc-transcom.csc-en-ligne.be/Images/infrabel110117-tcm193-402255.pdf