imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Rail Disaster in Canada

by PCInt Sunday, Jul. 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

The aftermath of the worst rail disaster in Canada for decades leaves at least 47 dead with many of the victims still unaccounted for.

Rail Disaster in Can...
lac_megantic.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x853

On Saturday, July 6 at one o'clock in the morning a train carrying crude oil derailed in the small town of Lac-Megantic in Quebec (6000 inhabitants), the fire and the explosion of several cars destroyed a large section of the downtown.

The train had stopped 11 km outside town at the top of a hill, for a "crew change"; actually the train, consisting of five locomotives and 72 cars each weighing well over one hundred tons, originating in Dakota and which had passed through Toronto and Montreal, was operated and conducted by a "crew" of one engineer! The latter, who had just finished 12 hours of consecutive work, went to rest after setting the brake system according to the usual rules. But shortly after a fire was reported on one of the engines and was extinguished by firefighters from nearby Nantes and the engine shut down. Somehow the train was set in motion and, without a driver, it accelerated downhill toward Lac-Megantic.

The director of the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA) has laid off the engineer, accusing him of being responsible for the accident, saying said he might have lied about having correctly applied handbrakes on 11 tanker cars (and the company took advantage of the accident to lay off 19 other employees in Quebec on July 16, 19 ).

But to accuse the driver actually serves to hide the direct responsibility of the pursuit of profit which is the rule in capitalist society and which always leads to the detriment of the workers and security.

MMA (formerly Iron World Railways) was acquired in 2003 by Rail World Inc., a company owned by an American capitalist named Burkhard who built his fortune by buying and selling railway undertakings. In the 90s he participated in the privatization of railways in New Zealand, which earned him a token of appreciation from the bourgeoisie of New Zealand, the title of "honorary consul"!

Also in the 90s, he took advantage of the privatization of the railways in Britain to put together its largest rail freight company (now owned by a German firem), eliminating 1,700 jobs in the process. He participated in the profitable privatization of railways in Estonia in 2001 (the local government was then forced a few years later to buy them back), he also served on the board of directors of a private Polish railway company and others in the United States.

For his success in the increase in profits of companies accomplished by reducing costs and increasing the exploitation of workers, in 1999 Burkhard was appointed "Railroader of the Year" by Railway Age magazine and then one of "16 Greatest Railroaders of the Twentieth Century". But according to statistics from the American Federal Railroad Administration, between 2003 and 2011, MMA had a double or triple the accident rate, than the average in the sector: the profit is made on the backs of the workers and the population ...

Shortly after the acquisition of the Canadian company, Burkhard lowered wages by 40%, under the pretext of the bankruptcy of a major customer. In 2010 he announced a plan to save 4.5 million dollars Cdn. by reducing the number of workers on locomotives. In 2012, Transport Canada, the government agency regulating railways authorized MMA trains to operate with a single driver, no other crew. To top this off, this has been accomplished by the indifference or outright collusion of the unions involved.

The bourgeois State, whose role according to democrats and reformers should be to protect and defend "all citizens", is actually in the service of capitalism and the capitalists.

For many years various governments have increasingly made decisions in favor of railway companies: if today on most freight trains in the United States and Canada the norm consist is now two workers, there were five thirty years ago. The productivity race that exists in this sector too, means that increasingly fewer proletarians are obligated to produce increasingly more, and when the various regulations enacted to ensure safety become obstacles to the realization of profits, they are removed.

At the request of the capitalists, in 1999 the Liberal government decided to accelerate deregulation, pursued by every successive government policy. One of the measures obtained by the companies was "self-regulation": it is the companies themselves who decide what safety measures to take!

The result was predictable: in 2007 the Canadian Safety Council released a report noting the deteriorating security situation on the railways. Since it was established in 1991 in the United States that the existing tank cars were not safe, eventually in 2011 the Canadian government required companies need only buy new more secure cars when renewing their fleet, all the while allowing the use of the existing unsafe ones : but as the life of these cars is from thirty to fifty years, they will still circulate for decades! Investments in rail infrastructure are insufficient, etc.. Meanwhile the boom in transporting crude oil boosts profits for the railways (oil transport by rail is less expensive than pipeline) ...

The Disaster in Lac-Mégantic is absolutely not due to chance, to fate: it is a crime committed by the MMA railway company, by capitalism, by the profit motive that drives all companies in this society with the aid of the State: the Canadian State last year broke the strike by workers of Canadian Pacific Rail, thousands of workers were laid off, working conditions have deteriorated further, "unproductive" expenditures for security and maintenance have been reduced to the greater profits of the company.

The blood-soaked capitalist Burkhard is not an exception, he is the product of the capitalist mode of production.

Against such disasters, it is silly to talk about a return to a mythical past of a "regulated" capitalism which would replace the savage "neo-liberal" variety: the capitalism of yesterday was every bit as savage as today's; it had nothing but contempt for the safety, security and the lives of the workers and the public.

Today as yesterday and throughout the last century the motto of the Railway Barons remains the same: "Uphill Slow, Downhill Fast, Tonnage first, Safety Last".

It is capitalism that is criminal; This is what we have to combat and put to death in order to live in safety!

International Communist Party

Report this post as:

Fire rages in Lac Megantic

by PCInt Sunday, Jul. 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Fire rages in Lac Me...
feu_lac_megantic.jpg, image/jpeg, 650x370

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Un monde de pauvreté J22 12:54AM

14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head J20 10:47PM

Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy J20 2:47PM

Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies J20 11:18AM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence J20 9:08AM

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy