From global crisis to global justice: women transport workers fighting back
All over the world women are becoming more involved in the trade union movement; not least in the transport sector. Historically the transport industry has been male dominated but we are witnessing a change, with increasing numbers of women working as crane operators, dockers, ship’s officers, airline pilots and train, bus and truck drivers, and many more transport related occupations. Transport unions too are changing to reflect this with a growth in women members and leaders who strengthen our voice and ensure women transport workers’ issues are included in the bargaining agenda with employers. More organising campaigns are being led by women transport workers who understand that being part of their union is the best way to achieve better working conditions and improvements in the transport sector.
More transport unions are recognising that focusing resources on women transport workers and their issues isn’t just about equality - in order to increase their industrial power, transport unions need more women workers at every level of the union.
However, women transport workers face major struggles as the global economic crisis impacts them significantly, with public services under attack, austerity has forced millions more women into poverty. Violence against women transport workers is increasing and lack of quality public transport still limits the employment, career progression and safety.
The ITF women transport workers conference will look at the achievements of ITF transport unions in organising, representing and developing women. Together women transport workers will address the challenges and make recommendations to the ITF congress 2014, which will ensure the issues affecting women transport workers are prioritised by ITF unions in the 2014-18 work programmes.
Sisters, I look forward to working with you. Please have your say, use this opportunity to join the conversation on the issues which affect your everyday lives, and share your hopes for the future of women transport workers in the trade union movement.
Alison Mcgarry, ITF women’s transport worker’s co-ordinator
What is the women’s WTW conference and why is it important?
The ITF holds a women’s transport workers conference and regional conferences once every four years. These conferences are where ITF sisters meet to share their challenges, ideas and best practice in their unions. They are the largest and most important meeting for ITF affiliates. The outcomes of the women transport workers’ conferences will be taken to the ITF congress 'From global crisis to global justice, transport workers fighting back' later in 2014. At the congress, the ITF family will set the direction and policy for the next four years as well as electing the president, vice-president, general secretary and executive board.
Your women’s conference
The ITF Women’s conference will be held from 27-28 January in New Delhi, India.
The conference, under the theme ‘From global crisis to global justice: women transport workers fighting back’ will set the direction of ITF gender work; agree the ITF women transport workers’ policy and work programme for 2014-2018 and submit resolutions for the ITF’s 43rd congress in Bulgaria in August 2014 by enabling affiliates to:
- Analyse challenges and opportunities for women transport workers and their communities
- Share best practice and plans for organising women transport
- Share experiences of Global Unions and ITF affiliates in building quality public service campaigns
- Build alliances with organisations at the forefront of combatting violence against women, to strengthen ITF affiliate campaigns
- Obtain and share practical tools, like the ITF action guide on violence against women, best practice guides, and leadership development online training modules
- Ensure the contribution of women transport workers is strengthened in growing, unifying and securing the democracy of their unions
Straight from the conference floor
Have your say and find out what issues are being debated and the solutions proposed.