should clarify the truth about broken rail!
20 May 2004

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(Union News "Daily DORO CHIBA" No.5880,)(Japanes)

Chiba district of JR Co. should clarify the truth about broken rail!

STEP UP THE FIGHT FOR RAIL SAFETY!

During the fight of Spring Labour Offensive 2004, we accused the Chiba district of Japan Rail (JR) Co. of unprecedented problems, including "broken rails" at Sobu Rapid Line since the beginning of this year and have demanded tougher safety measures.

Sobu Rapid Line carries express and super express trains, and the rail track@materials should be strong enough to withstand these. So the fact that its rails actually reached the point of snapping tells us how serious the problem is.

The JR company not only issued a secret notice demanding concealment of this, but also reported in the notice that their inspection cars had found no warning of broken rails. The situation is extremely serious.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFETY HAS BEEN ABANDONED

Despite this, when we met with them in February and March, the Chiba district of JR could give no explanation of the cause of the accidents, nor of any immediate countermeasure, but instead just repeated "it is now under investigation".

They showed no consciousness or responsibility for safety.

CAUSE: DEREGULATION, SUBCONTRACTING, AND SPEED-UP

The direct causes are quite obvious, i.e. fewer inspections as a result of "deregulation", all the facility sections' "subcontracting" under a cost cutting policy, and excess load for rail tracks because of trains' "speed-up". Last time, rails were broken at a section between Tsudanuma and Makuhari, but now, this can happen anytime, anywhere.

A second cause is also notoriously well known. It is JR-Soren (JR-Union) led by Kakumaru. They are extremely sectarian and think only of their own interests. They have never fought against the bosses, but have accepted all the "rationalization" schemes proposed by the JR company.

The lesson of fatal "Higashi-Nakano accident" on December 1988 clearly tells us that we cannot protect our lives and lives of passengers without fighting against the bosses.

Our union, Doro-Chiba, proposed the file 25, and requested the disclosure of the inspection results for the series of "broken rails" on 11 May 2004. The detail is below. Step up the fight for rail safety!

REQUEST ON BROKEN RAILS

The National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba (Doro-Chiba) have demanded drastic safety measures to improve the dangerous situation exposed by the broken tracks being found over the last 5 months. The Chiba district of Japan Rail Company, however, at the negotiation table on February and March, gave no explanation for the situation, or of any, and what sort of countermeasures they have taken so far. They simply repeated: "Inspection is in progress".

Therefore, Doro-Chiba demands the following, and expects another meeting so on with some straight answers.

Demands:

1. Clear answers on the result of examinations and the measures you have taken to redress the problems below:
(1) "Broken rail" between Tsudanuma & Makuhari of Sobu Rapid Line on 6 January
(2) "Broken rail" at test line of Narashino train area on 13 January
(3) "Contraction between rails" at Arakawa bridge between Shin-koiwa & Kinshi-cho of Sobu Rapid Line on 5 March
(4) "Drop of rail connection plate" between Fukutawara & Togane of Togane Line on 7 March

2. The JR Chiba district has stated: "We are inspecting all the parts which are similar to the problematic spots". We demand clear answers on the content and result of those inspections and the followed countermeasures.

3. We demand a clear explanation of the record and the result of the inspections of the 4 spots above mentioned.

4. The problematic situations above mentioned, resulting from widespread subcontracting of facility sections forced by the JR company, constitute an extremely serious safety risk. We demand taking back in-house of services in the facility section and no more selling-off of services to subcontractors, in order to preserve workers' skill and driving safety.

DORO-CHIBA (DC): National Railway Motive Power Union of CHIBA
Email: doro-chiba@doro-chiba.org
Web: http://www.doro-chiba.org/

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