The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is an international federation of transport workers' trade unions.
Any independent trade union with members in the transport industry is eligible for ITF membership.
Around 670 unions representing over 19 million transport workers from some 147 countries are members of the ITF. It is one of several global unions federation unions allied with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
The ITF's headquarters is in London and it has offices in Amman, Brussels, Nairobi, New Delhi, Ouagadougou, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Tokyo.
The ITF constitution sets out the following aims:
- to promote respect for trade union and human rights worldwide
- to work for peace based on social justice and economic progress
- to help our affiliated unions defend the interests of their members
- to provide research and information services to our affiliates
- to provide general assistance to transport workers in difficulty
Although the range of ITF activities is very wide, they can be best summed up under three key headings:
- practical solidarity
Representing the interests of transport workers
The ITF represents the interests of transport workers' unions in bodies that take decisions affecting jobs, employment conditions or safety in the transport industry, such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Sharing information and educating leaders
The ITF informs and advises unions about international developments in transport. We also maintain a specialist education department, dedicated to the development of strong and democratic transport unions.
Solidarity: sharing concern and giving support
The ITF encourages and organises international solidarity among its network of affiliates. When transport unions in one country are in conflict with employers or government, they can use direct help from unions in other countries, facilitated by ITF.
The kind of solidarity needed can range from protest messages, demonstrations and political pressure, to direct industrial action in the form of strikes, boycotts etc.
The ITF's worldwide campaign in the maritime industry against the use by ship owners of Flags of Convenience (FOCs) to escape from national laws and unions is a good example of solidarity.