World road and rail meeting begins Monday

Global union federation the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) begins a week-long conference in Brussels on Monday that will confront the issues facing rail and road workers – and passengers – worldwide. One of their first actions will be to rally in the city against the European Union’s proposed fourth railway package.

Press are invited to attend the protest, which takes place from 13:00 to 14:00 in the Place Luxembourg (
The ITF conference lasts from 5 to 9 December and brings together 171 representatives and leaders from 84 trade unions representing road and rail workers in 42 countries. Together they will address issues and strategies on topics including: the threat of railway privatisation; driver only operation; solidarity with Korean workers; the launch of an Our Public Transport campaign; the future of work; automation and the digital economy; safe rates and making multinationals accountable.
ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: “We never stop saying that workers are among the experts on running safe and accessible transport. They have valuable and unique insights into how to achieve this. If they’re not listened to then they, their passengers, and every other road and rail user has to live with the consequences. During this week their voices will definitely be heard, and in the months ahead their knowledge will be pushed out to all those who run, design and use these systems.”
ITF general secretary Steve Cotton added: “Transport that is safe, coordinated and accessible to all has never been under greater threat. Privatisation, precarious work, economic pressures and new technologies risk undermining regulation and accountability. The ITF, by listening to its millions of members working in these industries globally, is taking forward the fight for quality public transport, safe road and rail, and a fair deal for those at transport’s frontline.”
You can follow the conference on Facebook at and on Twitter at using the hashtags #WeAreITF, #NousSommesITF or #SomosITF.
Background information: fourth railway package
The rally will call on MEPs to reject the amended PSO (Public Service Obligations) regulation on public passenger transport. Unions believe that the protection of staff in competitive tendering is a crucial condition for high quality rail services and fair transport. Instead, the PSO regulation paves the way for further liberalisation of rail public passenger transport without ensuring protection of transport workers. It encourages social dumping and compromises high quality services for passengers (for example through cuts in safety training by new companies). For more details please see

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