Safety and workers’ rights the focus for ITF road and rail action week

Trade unions around the world are involved in activities this week as part of the International Transport Workers’ Federation road and rail action week.

The week – an opportunity to draw attention to major issues impacting on transport workers in the road and rail sectors - has now been an ITF feature for 20 years. It started in 1997 as a ‘Fatigue Kills!’ global day of action for road transport workers.

So far actions have included ramped up working condition checks for urban transport workers in Bulgaria, outreach to truck drivers on the Spanish-Portuguese border, a road safety awareness raising drive in Togo and a protest in Quezon City in the Philippines, against proposals for a change in the way the popular public transport system of jeepneys is managed.

Wednesday 5 October was designated as a day to highlight the need for labour rights for informal workers. Transport unions in Nepal, the Philippines and Uganda took action and the ITF promoted its Informal workers’ charter.

Aziz Kiirya, general secretary of the ATGWU in Uganda explained why the week is important to his union and its members: “Transport workers are taking action and involved in action throughout the whole year but during this week it’s a chance for workers to come together and take a collective look at the big issues affecting them. It’s an opportunity to evaluate what they’ve gone through, to educate members on what’s happening and to drill down and really work out next steps for the year ahead. Action week is about giving direction for future campaigns and enabling workers to achieve their goals as part of their union.”

The week is also used to emphasise how important it is to be part of a union and to strengthen activism internationally, regionally, nationally and locally.

Activity will continue until 9 October. You can follow on social media via #ActionWeek20 and facebook/ITFinlandtransport and on the dedicated Action Week blog.

Find out more on the work of the ITF in support of rail and road workers’ unions worldwide on the ITF website.


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