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Welcome & Editorial - January 2013

4 January 2013

Happy New Year! Here’s to a 2013 that is brighter than last year, in the workplace, the economy and the world.

This issue we look at whether Wales might be the first part of the UK to move back from the private franchise model for rail (p24-25) whilst Christian Wolmar reminds us of the large proportion of the network, from the East Coast route to the never- privatised Northern Ireland Railways, that remains in public hands (p22-23).

We also report on huge progress in winning fair and equal pay for members at Network Rail. Huge disparities were uncovered by TSSA and accepted by the company (p14-15) – could something similar be going on in your firm?

Our feature on Venezuela (20-21) shows that in contrast to the UK and Ireland, you can have both growth and the protection, and even extension of public services and workers’ rights. The neo-liberal model, with its concentration of power and wealth for the few at the very top is just one way to run a society. What Venezuela shows us, is that successful alternatives aren’tjustfordreamingabout,butcan be built in the real world.

Whatever the future holds in store, we all need the strongest union possible – so if there’s one New Year’s resolution you keep, why not make it to ask just one friend to join TSSA. There’s a form on p19 or speedy online joining via our website. Not only does it strengthen us collectively, it means we can be there for them if things don’t go to plan. Our future is in your hands!

All that remains for me to say, is to wish you and your family a happy, safe and prosperous new year. Let’s hope its one we can remember for all the right reasons.

Ben Soffa, editor

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