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TSSA wins vote on rail ownership

28 September 2004

TSSA, the largest rail union affiliated to Labour has had its alternative position on rail ownership backed by conference delegates. The results of the card vote, held yesterday, were announced on Tuesday morning - 64 per cent voted for TSSA's position, 36 per cent voted against.

The position now goes in the National Policy Forum Report and becomes Labour party policy.

TSSA General Secretary Gerry Doherty said: "Delegates from both constituencies and trade unions have backed a policy which is practical, prudent and popular. It is the right policy to take Labour forward to win the historic third term we all want to see.

"The Government’s fears about the cost of this policy are unfounded. Network Rail can stay exactly as it is, and private franchises need only be taken back into the public sector over time as they expire - there will be no need for compensation payments.

"And it isn’t a pie-in-the-sky policy. We already have one franchise, South Eastern Trains, being run in the public sector by the Strategic Rail Authority, and it is performing well.

"Lastly, it’s popular with voters - our polling found that two-thirds of voters and 75 per cent of Labour voters back it. Its the exactly the kind of policy that Labour activists will want to go on the doorstep and sell in a general election.

"Now it joins a number of other strong policies which are right for Labour, right for working people and right for the country."

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