The EU wants to promote the use of rail for transporting freight, and has therefore set out legislation requiring the establishment of 9 rail freight corridors across Europe. These corridors are intended to facilitate seamless cross-border freight transport and promote competition between rail operators – both public and private. This makes trade unions wonder: what are the social conditions on those rail corridors and how can we prevent social dumping?
The ETF’s 2013 project Working On Rail Freight Corridors – A trade union manual – Anticipate, Take Action, Work Together gave information about the background and developments of rail freight corridors. Our goal was to raise awareness among ETF affiliates about this EU project and to give them tools to anticipate the changes in working conditions linked with the implementation of the corridor concept.
Now our goal is to foster cross-border cooperation between trade unions along the corridors in order to monitor, guarantee and improve working and social conditions for railway workers. Specific attention has to be dedicated to the terminals (rail-road terminals, inter-modal terminals, sea and inland ports) where workers from different sectors meet.
The project created the manual Working on Rail Freight Corridors – Anticipate, Take Action, Work Together. This document gives an overview of the rail freight corridor concept and also helps workers and their representatives understand the governance of the corridors and thus the possible developments in employment they will bring. It is available in English, French and German.
Building on this projetc, the ETF Railway Section adopted in 2016 Guidelines for cooperation on cross border traffic between ETF affiliates organising locomotive drivers and/or on-board personnel (mobile personnel).