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Richard Leonard lays down the track for trade unions on Scots railways

TRANSPORT union representatives joined Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard on the campaign trail today as he laid out the party’s plans for rail renationalisation.

Labour has pledged to bring the railways into public ownership and end the private Scotrail franchise.

Mr Leonard and trade unionists from Aslef and TSSA visited Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Haymarket stations to make the case to Scottish commuters.

Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said it was “clear to everyone” that privatisation had failed.

“The Scottish people deserve to own and run their own Scottish railway,” he said.

“Let’s bring it back into public ownership and then let passengers have lower fares — and let’s invest any surpluses back into the Scottish rail network.”

Speaking at Queen Street, Mr Leonard said: “MSPs had the chance to end the Scotrail franchise just two months ago — but the Tories and the SNP joined forces to vote down Scottish Labour’s motion.

“Scotrail passengers know that the failed privatisation experiment must end now.

“Labour is the only party going into this election with a plan to bring our railways back into public ownership and build a transport system fit for the future.”

Labour candidate for Glasgow North East Paul Sweeney also joined workers at the Caley railway works in Springburn to protest against the site’s closure.

Mr Sweeney described the closure as “industrial vandalism” and said it was “baffling” that the Scottish government had not intervened.

“The SNP have shown they’re not capable of the radical interventionist industrial policy that communities like Springburn need,” he told the Star.

“Labour will reopen the Caley and bring it back into public ownership.”


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