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Haryana Roadways Employees On Strike Against Privatisation Of Transport System

Haryana Roadways employees went on a two-day strike to protest the state government's decision to introduce 700 private buses in the state. “Despite the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) being in force, the roadways workers went on strike and staged sit-ins at several depots across the state, including in Rohtak, Sirsa, Hisar, Ambala and Chandigarh, under the banner of Haryana Roadways Karamchari Joint Action Committee.” Haryana Roadways Workers Union general secretary Sarbat Singh Punia said “We want the Haryana government to withdraw its decision of introducing private buses in the state. (…) Despite the government’s move to crush our strike by imposing the ESMA, ordering suspension of many workers and rounding up 176 of our workers and leaders, over 4,000 buses remained off roads.”

Inside look at the “failure of privatization"

Steve Gillan, General Secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association (POA), provides an inside look at the “failure of privatization of our 10 railways, prisons and other public services in the ASLEF Journal. “The POA has consistently opposed budget cuts and the privatization of not just prisons but our utilities such as gas, water and electricity, along with our railways and NHS,” Gillan writes, “because successive governments have not cared about the consequences of cuts and have had an obsession with private enterprise over public services which, in real terms, is always a race to the bottom.”

Cameroonian rail firm Camrail convicted over 2016 deadly train crash

The private operator of a rail line that had an accident killing 79 people and injuring 600 has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. “The packed train operated by Camrail, a unit of French industrial group Bollore, came off the tracks in the town of Eseka en route from the capital Yaoundé to the central African country’s port city of Douala.”

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Nationalising'Special'Purpose'Vehicles'to'end'PFI:'a'discussion'of'the' costs'and'benefits

A new paper by Dr Helen Mercer and Professor Dexter Whitfield "Nationalising Special Purpose Vehicles to end PFI: A discussion of the costs and benefits" provides an initial set of costings relating to the proposal to end PFIs in the UK through nationalising the Special Purpose Vehicles. The article uses book value to estimate that the cost of compensating the shareholders of the SPVs on HM Treasury database would be between £2.3bn and £2.5bn. It further analyses the potential savings to public authorities. The article proposes that service contracts are renegotiated so that the public authorities contract directly with the providers, not via the SPV. This secures significant annual savings from the elimination of operating profits, of £1.4bn, indicating that nationalisation will pay for itself within two years. Further the article proposes to honour all outstanding liabilities but to secure substantial refinancing through a new body in which ownership of the SPVs will be vested. Finally, the article suggests that as service contracts are ended, either through break clauses or other reasons, the public authorities must bring provision ‘in-house’, ending outsourcing and also providing further savings from more rational and integrated provision. The approach has been developed on the basis of significant research into how PFIs operate and consideration of the range of alternative solutions to the PFI problem that have been put forward so far. These issues are also explained and developed in the article.

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