Stephen Cotton's new year message 2019

"We leave 2018 with a high level of optimism that we can make the next year our most successful yet" - watch ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton's new year message for 2019

“2018 has been a really tough year. Our president, Paddy Crumlin, has also issued a message about the political situation, the challenges from North America all the way to Latin America with governments attacking trade union rights. And the issues in the Arab World and generally the challenges for all workers.

“But the ITF as a whole has had a pretty good year. We had our biggest ever Congress in Singapore in October with over 2400 delegates at the opening celebrating out global family’s diversity,  our multiculturalism and gender balance, and the opportunity for young men and women in transport unions to make their voices heard both in the ITF structures but also in their national unions.

“Our objective is to agree a plan to build workers power. How are we going to do that? We're going to grow and activate membership, that means workplace issues are relevant nationally then regionally and then globally. It's our responsibility over the next five years to take those challenges

“We also need to recognize that campaigning and organizing has different faces in different parts of the world, and it needs to be recognized that one form of organizing or one form of campaigning doesn't naturally fit all. But we are determined to be a powerful campaigning organization that says and does what it needs to do to look after our members

“And in a more delicate part of the world we also need to have the power and influence to change government regional and international policy, wherever that is: ILO (International Labor Organization), International Maritime Organization, civil aviation authorities. 

“Groups of politicians need to know that transport workers are vital to their economies and we should be respected as professionals in that process.

“Our Congress also elected a number of new chairs. We want to put on record our thanks to the outgoing chairs and congratulate the new leaders who are going to take us on to another level over the next five years.

“Brothers and sisters, it has been a tough year, but we leave it with a high level of optimism a united ITF family well led, well-resourced, with a high level of determination will make 2019 and the Congress period to 2023 out most successful yet.”

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