Today, more than ever and in the conditions we least desire, the need for and the importance of trade unions is becoming apparent.

Throughout Europe, we have seen with joy in ALE that our member unions, professional unions of Train Drivers, have worked side by side with companies and governments to cope with this situation and to maintain jobs, moving the railway operation forward and ensuring the health and integrity of our colleagues.

The train drivers´ work, committed, professional and essential in our times, has made clear the importance and relevance they have within railway companies and, once again, they have proved their worth in the most difficult times.

When all of this goes away, when this global pandemic is just a bad memory, we must keep in mind that the global health crisis cannot be an excuse for certain companies to undermine the rights of rail workers; we are fulfilling our duties as train drivers and we will work to make our environment more committed, more professional, more trained and safer.

It is time for the effective “shift to rail”, the mode of transport that supports this crisis. It is time to fulfil the European Green Deal and make this world more eco-sustainable. It is time to finally give freight transport by train the importance it deserves.

We will continue to demand that the transposition of the 4th Railway Package cannot be an “à la carte” transposition; the Safety Directive is clear and we must, together, ensure that the standards that comprise it are carried out in each Member State. Safety and a Just Safety Culture will, as always, mark our roadmap.

As a train driver, a railway man and a worker, I would like to send a message of encouragement to all our colleagues and a desire for health for all of them and their relatives.



Juan Jesús García Fraile