Women's committee
Women’s committee members support Patrick dockers

ITF women pledge increasing action to secure ILO violence convention

A commitment to increasing practical action to secure the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention on violence and harassment in the workplace was one of the main outcomes of the ITF women transport workers committee meeting in London on 24-25 April.

Members pledged to support unions in their countries to gather worker stories, to build a compelling body of evidence for the ILO about the impact of violence against women on workers and their workplaces. They also agreed to encourage union activists and members to take part in the ITF’s equality testing research on gender equality in transport workplaces, which will help unions lobby their governments and trade union national centres on the need for the convention.

They said that women workers must be at the heart of the ITF’s priority work programme, and the Our Public Transport campaign was raising the bar.

Wilma Clement, of the Barbados Workers’ Union, said: “Public transport is very important in Barbados but the jobs for women are disappearing. At this meeting we can understand what is happening throughout the world. We know there are people we can turn to for help and formulate our strategies to combat all the negative things happening in public transport.”

The committee agreed that the focus of the ITF women transport workers global conference in Marrakesh on 7-8 November will be on two priority issues:

• Building women transport workers’ economic power: ending gender based occupational segregation in the global transport industry; and

• Building the power of trade union action to end violence against women transport workers: globally, regionally, nationally and sectorally.    

Jodi Evans, ITF women transport workers equality officer, questioned how revolutionising technologies would continue to impact on women transport workers and said the transport industry was already a ‘global dinosaur’ in regard to its recruitment and occupational segregation of women. She added that the ITF and its unions were determined to hold the industry power structures to account, in order to prevent the future of work making women transport workers extinct and to welcome women to the industry on an equal footing.

The committee expressed support for Australian dockers fighting union-busting at port operator Patrick in Australia. 

See more from the meeting on Facebook and Twitter using #ITFwomen.

Read more about the Our Public Transport campaign and follow the news using #OurPublicTransport on Facebook and Twitter.

Ensure your union takes part in the ITF’s equality testing research. This is particularly important before September 2017, as national centres prepare their responses to the forthcoming ILO questionnaire.

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