An attack on jobs, services, rights and democracy

by Democrat reporter

EUROPEAN WORKERS should unite against the threat to jobs, public services, democracy and rights posed by the proposed European constitution, National Union Rail Maritime and Transport Workers' (RMT) president Tony Donaghey said at the recent European Social Forum in London.

Tont Donaghey

"Working people need this constitution like turkeys need Christmas," Tony Donaghey said.

"Far from ensuring workers' rights and decent public services, this constitution is a privatisers' charter and will do nothing to stop governments maintaining anti-union laws.

"If adopted it will effectively outlaw attempts by governments to roll back the years of privatisation and attacks on public services, and will force member countries to remain on the neo-liberal economic treadmill. It is an attempt to close the door on socialist policies.

"Public opinion in Britain is demanding a return to a publicly owned, publicly funded and publicly accountable railway, yet the EU is marching us in the opposite direction.

"More liberalisation and naked capitalist competition means a reverse auction on pay and jobs in which the lowest bid wins, and the constitution will lock us into that process.

"Opening up Europe's railways to competition will pit worker against worker and can only force pay and conditions down – and that is exactly what Europe's boss class wants.

"The Scottish Executive is already using EU rules to force Caledonian MacBrayne's essential ferry routes in Scotland into a wasteful and unnecessary tendering process, but the constitution will mean that the loopholes currently available to get us out of it will be closed.

"Anyone who suggests that the European constitution will enable us to get rid of anti-union laws can't have read it - hardly surprising really, as it's 800 pages long and not exactly exciting reading.

But one of the powers our government will retain is the power to restrict the right to strike and to impose other repressive anti-union measures.

Any government that hands over power to the degree set out in the proposed constitution is in reality no longer a government at all," Tony Donaghey said.

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This document was last modified by David Granville on 2005-05-19 14:15:23.
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