Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/551/6483
Keep the Metro public!
The Keep the Metro Public campaign, including trade union activists and members of the Socialist Party have handed out thousands of leaflets opposing the privatisation of the Newcastle Metro.
Paul Phillips and Ian Patterson, Newcastle Socialist Party
Metro workers, who were under instruction by management to move us out of the stations, said they supported our cause and redirected us to good leafleting spots.
Privatisation offers the Metro no benefits. The current operator, Nexus's own statistic shows that 95.57% of Metro trains run on time.
RMT North West executive candidate Craig Johnston said: "We are opposed to the whole process, once you go down the line of privatisation it leads to increased costs, more tax subsidy, standards reduced, fare increases and safety compromised".
Even though Nexus says this is not privatisation, workers are not allowed to talk to third parties about the situation or their jobs will be at risk.
Whether this also relates to unions is unclear.
So the campaign staged a second protest at the Public Transport Authority meeting at Newcastle Civic Centre, wearing gags in protest at this ban on workers.
At the meeting no one from the campaign was allowed to speak. They claimed that workers are not being gagged but are not allowed to talk to the press, which is a joke in itself. In a recent survey, 60% of people were against the privatisation proposal.
In The Socialist 8 October 2008:
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news