Breaking News No.5

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12:30 GMT (14 March 2007)

Switzerland / Italy
SEV in Switzerland organised a common action with their Italian colleagues FILT-CGIL at their border point on the Action Day. The two unions held a joint press conference at Pollegio and highlighted safety in passenger rail transport, certification of international train crews and protection of employment conditions in the face of EU rail liberalisation. Representatives from the two unions also participated in an action in front of the Gotthard Base Tunnel that is currently being built. Displaying a banner with the message "Più personale per una sicurezza ottimale" ("Safety is ideal with more workers"), the unions stressed their demand that on rail sections with tunnels of more than 1 kilometre, trains be manned by two drivers. At a planned length of 57km, Gotthard Base Tunnel will be longest railway tunnel in the world.
(Email reports by Angelo Stroppini and Peter Moor)

See more photos of activities organised by SEV, FILT-CGIL >>

On 13 March, members of the Hokkaido Railway Workers' Union (affiliated to the JRU) leafleted in the northern island's key cities. During a heavy snowstorm, union activists distributed 6,000 leaflets to commuters in the main stations.
(Email report by Massa Takahashi)

More photos of activities in northern Japan >>

At the Guwahti Railway Station in India, members of the N.F.Railway Mazdoor Union (affiliated to the AIRF) organised various activities to celebrate the Action Day. The themes of customer care and safety were highlighted and badges with the "Safety First!" slogan were distributed to railway workers on duty. In the evening of 13 March, the union held a safety seminar at the Guwahati Branch Office, attended by locomotive drivers, station masters and train controllers and management representatives. The seminar called upon the Government to invest in the renewal of infrastructure and rolling stock, as well as to reduce the duty hours of railway workers to 8 hours a day. The need for rest periods and proper rest facilities at outstations was also highlighted. (Email report by Pijush Chakraborty)

See more photos of activities organised by the NF Railway Mazdoor Union >>

The UMT celebrated the Action Day on 13 March with meetings and awareness activities at the major railway stations, workshops and yards. Various issues related to railway safety and security of social conditions were revealed as a result of these activities. These included excessive reduction of the workforce, long working hours, lack of training and communication, deterioration of rolling stock, deterioration of working conditions and weak pensions. (Email report by Mohamed Haytoum)

See more photos of activities organised in Morocco >>

Venezuela / Brazil
At the border of Venezuela and Brazil, 35 activists from SITRAMECA and FETRHARINA met 10 leaders from FETRONORTE (affiliated to CNTTT, Brazil) for the first time since Venezuela entered Mercosur last year. The activists distributed the joint Mercosur Action Day leaflet to transport workers and the general public. (Email report by Gabriel Mocho)

See more photos of the activities >>

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