Sunday, March 25, 2018

France: Joint Declaration - Defend all public services! Solidarity with railway workers and railway workers!

Originally published March 19,  2018
Original in French

For years, successive governments have chosen to support privatization of transport against the interests of the climate, equality and society: underinvestment in rail and massive investment in motorways and cars, privatisation, which particularly promotes the explosion of the transport goods by heavy trucks.

Since 1997 and the creation of the French Rail Network (RFF - a subsidiary company which was created to run the infrastructure France's rail network it was succeeded by SNCF Réseau), the French National Railway Corporation (SNCF) is still more segmented, enabling the breaking the social character of the railways and to continue the privatization recommended by the European "directives". Today Macron pushes the logic, the destruction of the SNCF. Throughout Europe, the revenues he wants to achieve will result in the disappearance of lines, the explosion of prices, dilapidated facilities and trains, the disappearance of freight. It is the whole population that pays the price three times: financially, by creating territorial inequality and in its health impacts caused by the resultant pollution.

After 20 years of increased liberalisation, the accumulation of European directives pushing in this direction, Macron proposes to complete the privatisation of public rail service via ordinances with dramatic consequences for the users and the development of the territories. To get there, he seeks to vilify railway workers, making them look like privileged people who, just like Macron says of pensioners, students, and the unemployed, would ruin France. The reality is different: they are fighting to save the jobs of future generations.

The train is not only a means of locomotion, it is a public service, an essential tool for ecological transition and it is unbearable that it can stop at the doors of major cities. The battle for public rail service is first and foremost a battle for equality.

Faced with this government, which wants to complete the transformation of a public service supposed to be guided by the general interest of a CAC 40 company [the 40 largest French companies], the railway workers are not accountable for anything. Neither do students who lose part of their PLA, retirees who see the CSG increase, health care workers, teachers, unemployed or all civil servants. No more than migrants who suffer under contemptable policies.

Macron and Philippe want to make scapegoat? We collectively affirm that the railway workers are the victims of the liberal policies that have been going on for so many years, which explain the rise of the far right across Europe.

They want us divided? We answer that we will be on the street on March 22 to defend access to public service, starting with the railway, the railway, but also all officials and the interest of users.

Signatories Libertarian Alternative (AL); Europe Ecology-The Greens (EELV); Ensemble; Democratic and Social Left (GDS); Generation; France Insoumise Parliamentary Group; New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA); New Deal; French Communist Party (PCF); French Workers Communist Party (PCOF); Left Party (PG); Republic and Socialism.


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Revitalising Labour attempts to reflect on efforts to rebuild the labour movement internationally, emphasising the role that left-wing political currents can play in this process. It welcomes contributions on union struggles, internal renewal processes within the labour movement and the struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

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