Defend public transport

Defeat Murphy’s privatisation plansBy Owen McCracken The Department for Regional Development (DRD) has proposed “reforms” to public transport that will target cuts of £12.8 million annually and see the increased privatisation of services. A new public transport agency would be established at Stormont to bring about the changes.

The plans will see Ulsterbus asked to cut 3% of current costs (£10 million), Metro bus asked to cut 4% (£1.4m) and NI railways asked to cut 3% (£1.4m). It is likely also that vital bus routes to rural and outlying urban areas will be cut with new powers devolved to local councils.

In addition, private companies will be asked to compete for all new contracts with the existing public providers, including the contract for the new Rapid Transit system in Belfast. The Minister, Connor Murphy, has said “There are private operators out there. We want to ensure that they work alongside, to enhance and improve public transport provision. But Translink will be the main provider”.

This part-privatisation will inevitably lead to private companies cherry-picking the profitable routes with the public operators managing the rest. In order to increase profit margins, private companies will attempt to drive down wages, increase fares and milk whatever public subsidies they can obtain.

The privatisation of the transport system in Britain has been a disaster. More public money is now spent on the rail network now than in the final years of the nationalised British Rail! An efficient, fully integrated transport system that meets the needs of society can only be built on the foundations of full public ownership and proper funding.

These measures are further evidence of the Assembly parties agenda of privatisation. The public will be invited to give their views on the plans during a series of meetings in December and January. Workers should attend these consultations to protest against these plans. Unite, the union which represents transport workers must oppose the opening up of transportation to the private sector. Workers terms and conditions cannot be protected by seeking assurances from Conor Murphy or any of the other right-wing Minsters. A campaign needs to be launched to defend the idea of a fully public and properly funded transport system.

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

Magherafelt Council destroying jobs

Next Article

PROTEST FOR JOBS & A FUTURE

Related Posts

Fianna Fail & Greens…24 Billion reasons to go!

A second financial black hole, of at least €24 billion, left by the bankers and developers after their orgy of speculation is a huge debt that the government has decided will be paid by the working class.

The banking crisis is even worse than first thought, and there is a real prospect that this drama hasn’t fully played itself out yet.

November 30th & Beyond: Preparing for the showdown

The one-day public-sector strike on 30 November is expected to involve nearly four million workers – the biggest single day of industrial action in Britain’s history. In the face of the Con-Dem coalition’s savage austerity, public-sector workers are preparing for a hard struggle to defend pensions, services, pay and conditions. This represents a potentially momentous turning point.

May Day 2010

MAY DAY 2010March Against Cuts and Privatisation! March for a Working Class Alternative!March with the Socialist Party! Assemble…

Fujitsu: ACAS proposals accepted

Unite members at Fujitsu have voted 72% in favour of accepting ACAS proposals after taking 10 days strike action against the companies moves to introduce compulsory redundancies and draconian attacks on pay and pensions.

The proposals include commitments to allow union representatives to participate in several reviews into redundancies, pension arrangements and signing a definition of promotion. However, Fujitsu bosses have refused to withdraw plans to impose compulsory redundancies, merely to postpone them until after 26 March.