Fifteen women and sixteen men from 21 countries participated in an ITF workshop in Dakar, Senegal from 27-30 September. They shared experiences, discussed the challenges facing unions, learnt about union organising and leadership development, and explored how young workers could get more involved in ITF campaigns.
Emissions from transport are still increasing, so there is an urgent need for unions to influence a new approach to transport – one based on social needs and solidarity – which wins a better deal for working people. Two additional days focused on the challenges and opportunities that climate jobs – jobs which reduce the amount of greenhouse gases (such as jobs in public transport or renewable energy) – can bring to the transport sector.
Participants also discussed the importance of lobbying governments and bodies like the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to cut emissions.
Participant Sandra Naftal from Mozambique said about climate change: “We need to adapt, we need to mitigate and reduce the risk. We cannot afford to be pessimistic. What we are doing today is creating our future – we need to act.”
Bayla Sow, ITF representative for the Africa Francophone and ECOWAS countries, said it was important to strengthen the ITF’s and its unions’ strategic influence in transport hubs and corridors, so they would be better placed to fight for workers’ rights. He added that the ITF must be capable of mobilising mass membership, especially in the urban transport and railways sectors.
The workshop was supported by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, as part of the project to build an ITF young transport workers network in the Africa region; and by Union To Union, as part of the ITF climate justice programme.
Get involved with other young workers to make an even bigger impact – join the ITF global young transport workers network now. Use these links for other languages - Spanish, French and Portuguese.