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Asia Pacific unions meet to reinforce agenda for building union power in the region

Trade union delegates representing transport workers from across the Asia Pacific region will meet in Tokyo, Japan this week for their regional International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) conference. The event runs from 28-30 November.

Representatives from maritime, railway, road and civil aviation unions will be there from Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

ITF president, chair of the dockers’ section and national president of the Maritime Union of Australia Paddy Crumlin said: “This conference comes at a crucial time for transport workers. Across the Asia Pacific region there are huge challenges but also huge opportunities. Trade unions need to be part of conversations about all the ways in which their workplaces are developing, things like automation and platform working through mobile apps - we need to talk about the technology that is threatening to replace workers or to intensify their working lives to an unacceptable extent.

“Employers, industry governments, they cant have those conversations without including labour. Transport workers are keeping trade moving regionally in Asia Pacific and throughout the world and that earns them a place at the table via their trade union representation.

“Japan and Tokyo specifically is a strategically important transport hub making it an obvious choice for a regional meet of this kind. We can see all the key issues at play right here. Our message is simple; the future of work isn’t what’s coming, it’s what we make it, and we intend to make it work for ordinary women and men.”

This is one of the first ITF conferences in a series leading up to the organisation’s next congress in Singapore in 2018. The Pathway to Congress series will define the priorities and decisions made by the ITF at the international level.

Reports, interviews, photos and film clips will be posted online @ITFglobal on Facebook and @ITFglobalunion on Twitter #WeAreITF



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