SIPTU supports the reported position of the Department of Transport that it is seeking a derogation for Ireland from the EU Commission supported ‘Fourth Railway Package’ which calls for greater market liberalisation and competition within the railway sector in each member state. SIPTU Construction and Utilities Division Organiser, Owen Reidy, said: “This flawed EU proposal will do nothing to assist rail users and has the potential to undermine the operation of our coherent and integrated transport system. “We must call this attempt to force through rail privatisation for what it is, a clear and naked attack on rail workers. If this plan is allowed to proceed it will lead to a severe erosion in terms and conditions of employment in Irish Rail.” He added: “The Irish rail market is small and only requires one operator. An attempt to implement the proposals in the ‘Fourth Railway Package’ will see international operators seeking to cherry pick attractive lines to maximise profit at the expense of rail users and workers. “SIPTU is the largest union in Irish Rail and will continue to lobby all political parties on this matter to seek to ensure there is universal support across political lines for this government, or any successor, to seek a derogation to these proposals. “We will also continue working with other transport unions across Europe through our participation in the European Transport Workers Federation to prevent these flawed plans from being enforced.”