Railway workers around Europe have worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Their crucial role in ensuring smooth and strong rail traffic became as clear as ever this year, and they deserve to be respected for it.
During a plenary meeting of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for rail on 3 December, social partners ETF and CER took a step towards that goal and issued a joint declaration. Together, they expressed gratitude for railway workers and reaffirmed their commitment to improving the sector’s social aspects by preventing unfair competition on the basis of working conditions. Railway workers need job security, good social standards, attractive and fair employment conditions.
Railway workers were essential in ensuring that people and goods were transported throughout 2020 and that the public service was provided. They continue to support this key transport system every day. They deserve quality working conditions, and they deserve to be part of a plan for a social, green future, where the rail is recognised as a climate-friendly transport system.
For the green and social future to materialise, social partners recognised the need for sufficient financing, as well as a European set of rules on interoperability and safety with the necessary socially acceptable harmonization and standardization. They are committed to taking an active part in all these processes and will work on concluding an autonomous agreement on the promotion and integration of women in the railway sector in 2021, as well as also address the issues of employability and future security of the professions in the context of digitization and automation in our sector.
The joint statement is available here.