Trade Union Guide to the EU PSO Regulation

22 Sep 2007

PSO stands for “public service obligations”. In 2007 the European Union adopted a major piece of legislation setting the legal framework on how public passenger transport is organised, what is allowed and what not. This is Regulation (EC) 1370/2007 on public passenger transport by rail and road.

In the run up to this piece of legislation, the ETF and its affiliates struggled hard for a regulation that works for workers. We achieved:

  • By EU law public authorities have the right to choose how to organise urban public transport. That means they can do it through their own operator via a direct award of a public service contract, or via competitive tendering and thus privatisation.
  • By EU law public authorities have the right – in particular in the case of competitive tendering – to impose social criteria and standards and also a transfer of staff in the case of change of operator.

It is now up to the trade unions to act politically at national, regional and local level to convince politicians to make those choices and in particular to protect the working conditions of public transport workers and prevent a race to the bottom.

The Trade Union Guide to the PSO Regulation explains the options of the regulations and motivates to act.

ATTENTION: In December 2016 this regulation was amended to further liberalise rail public passenger transport (Regulation (EU) 2016/2338). An update of the guide is in preparation but those changes do not affect urban public transport.