By a commentator for Tjen Folket Media.
As we have written earlier, the Norwegian railway system has undergone a number of rounds of privatization. The result is that the railways are divided up and that the service has been put up for auction. Now, politicians wish to continue the trend by submitting to the EU’s new railway package.
The newspaper Fri Fagbevegelse has written the following about the strike:
The unions are protesting against the EU’s fourth railway package. It will impose competition and put it under the EU’s railway agency. This can come at the cost of the safety and offering for passengers, claims the unions.
Fri Fagbevegelse reports that demonstrations are occurring all over the country in connection with the strikes.
In an earlier report, the newspaper wrote about the contents of the Fourth Railway Package, which is divided into one section on the railway markets and one section on the technical adaptation measures and safety. They write:
The market share imposes competition over passenger traffic and is to secure equal access to the rails for all companies in Europe.
Regarding the technical issues, it has to do with standardizing equal conditions for safety measures in the entire EU/EEA region. The unions within the railways claim that this will weaken safety measures. They also point out that the companies that now compete over the rails in Norway do not sufficiently account for operations, such that the system is poorly equipped for crises and extreme stress.