Cotton at ILC
Steve Cotton addresses the ILC plenary

Cotton presses transport workers’ concerns at global talks

ITF general secretary Steve Cotton pledged to achieve tangible gains for transport workers when he addressed the ILO’s International Labour Conference (ILC) on 9 June.

He told the conference that the ITF was deeply involved in the ILC’s critical themes – green jobs, labour migration, fundamental principles and rights at work, and the transition to peace. He restated the ITF’s commitment to working with the ILO, highlighting the ground-breaking Maritime Labour Convention and current efforts to tackle forced labour in fishing and improve health and safety in docks and road transport.

Mr Cotton said: “We’ve achieved a lot together, but we must do more. There are decent work deficits wherever we look…Major companies at the top of supply chains – we call them economic employers – are allowing labour rights abuses to take place on their watch. ILO work on decent work in global supply chains is a critical element; we’re looking for an instrument, and we’re happy that the ILO has set the path for us to achieve it together.

“We will be back at the ILC next year calling for a strong ILO Convention on violence against women and men in the world of work. Women represent a growing percentage of the transport workforce and face significant gender based stereotyping, discrimination and stigmatisation. This acts as a further barrier to speaking up on the violence they face at work.”

He pledged that the ITF’s investment in developing policies on automation, digitalisation and the future of work would ensure that transport workers’ voices influenced international policy-making.

The ITF and its unions also participated in three ILC committees – on labour migration, fundamental principles and rights at work, and the application of standards – where the ITF made interventions in cases concerning Bangladesh, Botswana, Cambodia, Egypt, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

You can listen to Steve Cotton’s speech on Radio Labour

 

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