RMT Condemns Takeover Of Arriva By Deutsche Bahn
THE £1.59 BILLION takeover of the Arriva transport group was condemned today by the RMT as another worrying step towards the creation of a pan-European private transport monopoly.
RMT will be seeking urgent meetings with DB and its newly acquired subsidiaries, which include Arriva Trains Wales, Arriva Cross Country and a host of bus companies, in order to safeguard the jobs and interests of its members.
Although still nominally owned by the German state, DB has slashed its workforce by half since moves to privatise it began in 1994, is aggressively raising capital for acquisitions and making full use of the EU’s forced ‘liberalisation’ of the European rail network.
DB already runs Chiltern Railways and the newly privatised Tyne and Wear Metro and has closed freight depots at Trafford Park and Falkland since it acquired EWS.
Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said today:
“This is a huge step in the wrong direction for rail workers and passengers and should sound a warning that we are heading towards a dangerous monopoly of rail and bus services across Europe in which profit comes ahead of safety and service.
“Our first concern is to protect the jobs and conditions of our members and we will be seeking urgent meetings with DB and Arriva subsidiaries.
“The accelerating pace of acquistions across Europe will be bad news all round as DB seeks to squeeze both its passengers and its workforce.
“Our members at what was EWS have bitter experience of the aggressive profit-first approach of DB, and we have also seen the shameful privatisation of the Tyne and Wear Metro, which was a beacon of public-sector success.
“Liberalisation might sound harmless, but already we have seen fatal crashes like the recent one in Belgium, and we are also facing demands to dilute safety standards in the Channel tunnel to allow competition.
“Millions of people across Europe believe that railways should be publicly owned and publicly run, not a commodity to be smashed up and exploited by privateers who are ultimately only interested in the bottom line.”
"This is a huge step in the wrong direction for rail workers and passengers and should sound a warning that we are heading towards a dangerous monopoly of services across Europe in which profit comes ahead of safety and service."
- Bob Crow