Social partners CER and ETF call for a ‘fairness and growth plan for rail freight’

4 Dec 2015

Today the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) presented their recently adopted Joint Declaration on Rail Freight on the occasion of the 2nd European Rail Freight Day, in Vienna. Signed by CER Executive Director Libor Lochman, ETF Deputy General Secretary Sabine Trier, and the President and Vice-President of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue for Railways, Matthias Rohrmann (CER) and Guy Greivelding (ETF), the document presents proposals for measures to be adopted as part of a ‘fairness and growth plan for rail freight in Europe’.

The European social partners in the railway sector, CER and ETF, are deeply concerned about the ongoing trends and the future of rail freight transport in the EU. Despite the modal shift goals set out in both the 2001 and 2011 Transport White Papers, rail freight is still suffering from chronic underinvestment in infrastructure and unfavourable competitive conditions with other transport modes. As a consequence, employment in the sector has been negatively affected by this critical situation in several EU member states.

The ‘fairness and growth plan’ proposed by the social partners includes actions that aim to ensure reliable long-term funding of rail infrastructure, the better inclusion of rail freight in logistics chains, and the achievement of fair competitive conditions and a fair social level playing field between the different transport modes.

If implemented at European and national level, the measures envisaged as part of the plan will help set the right conditions for rail freight to deploy its full potential in terms of quality employment, contribution to a sustainable freight transport system and the achievement of the European climate targets for transport.

CER Executive Director Libor Lochman said: “Rail freight can gain new impetus and contribute to important EU environmental, economic and social goals if the right policies and tools are put in place. Together with ETF, we are calling on EU decision makers to take urgent action in a number of critical areas to revamp rail freight in Europe“.

ETF Deputy General Secretary Sabine Trier said: “This ‘fairness and growth pan’ will not only help to meet the objective of more sustainable freight transport in Europe; it will also enable the rail freight sector to maintain and create new quality employment. Fair and good working conditions for workers of all transport modes are and will remain a key factor to deliver safe and good quality freight transport services“.

Sabine Trier
Deputy General Secretary
Phone: +32 2 285 46 67

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) represents more than 3.5 million transport workers from more than 230 transport unions and 41 European countries in the following sectors: railways, road transport and logistics, maritime transport, inland waterways, civil aviation, ports & docks, tourism and fisheries.

Laura Henry
Press & Communications Manager
Phone: +32 (0)2 213 08 73

The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) brings together more than 70 railway undertakings, their national associations as well as infrastructure managers and vehicle leasing companies. The membership is made up of long-established bodies, new entrants and both private and public enterprises, representing 73% of the rail network length, 80% of the rail freight business and about 96% of rail passenger operations in EU, EFTA and EU accession countries. CER represents the interests of its members towards EU policy makers and transport stakeholders, advocating rail as the backbone of a competitive and sustainable transport system in Europe. For more information, visit or follow us via Twitter at @CER_railways.