Organising informal transport workers? Read new ITF booklet

The ITF has produced a new booklet to assist unions which organise informal transport workers, based on the learning gained from its three-year project to improve the capacity of unions to organise and represent these workers.

The 45-page booklet – The power of informal transport workers – analyses the informal transport industry and examines the issues faced by informal workers, new models and methods in organising, and the implications for the trade union movement.

It features:

  • successful case studies – including organising e-rickshaw drivers in Nepal, airport taxi workers in Uganda and taxi workers in New York, USA;
  • a guide to developing an organising strategy;
  • the ITF’s informal transport workers charter;
  • a summary of the key lessons learned from the project; and
  • activities to stimulate discussion.

The ITF and Global Labour Institute (GLI) informal transport workers project was launched in 2013 and funded by FNV Mondiaal in the Netherlands. It was based on mentor unions in Asia, Latin America and Africa who had successfully demonstrated organising skills and experience. In their regions, they organised policy seminars and training workshops and supported other unions in developing skills and policies to build informal workers’ organisations.

The mentor unions developed new organising methods, adapted from the ITF’s strategic organising approach – mapping informal transport hubs, building alliances with informal associations, researching employment relationships, and supporting collective bargaining with employers, governments and transport authorities.

Alana Dave, ITF education officer and leader of the ITF’s Our Public Transport programme, said: “Organising informal workers is a big challenge and I hope unions find inspiration and encouragement from this new booklet.

“In urban transport, millions of informal workers rely on providing transport services for their livelihoods. In many cities, most public transport is informal. Organising informal transport workers to win employment and organisational rights will strengthen union power in city-wide public transport systems.”

Read the booklet (available in English, French and Spanish).

Watch the video that accompanies the booklet.  

Find out more about the informal workers’ project. 

An independent report praised the use of mentor unions in the project – read more

The booklet also supports the ITF’s Our Public Transport programme.  

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