With more than 250 affiliated aviation unions in more than 135 countries worldwide, the ITF has an unrivalled reach and understanding of aviation workers’ issues on a global scale.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) that classifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and facilitates the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.
With its headquarters in Montreal, Canada, the ICAO is made up of 192 members (191 states and the Cook Islands) and is instrumental in governing and regulating airlines to insure the fair treatment of the women and men in all areas of work within civil aviation.
To ensure that there is a strong presence, and the most effective two-way communication, between the ITF and the ICAO, the ITF has opened the ITF Montreal office liaison with ICAO. This office will help the ITF to ensure that workers’ rights and equality issues are at the forefront of the conversation at the ICAO.
To commemorate the opening of the office, the ITF held a reception hosting delegates from the ICAO, secretariat of the ITF and affiliated unions, as well as other figures from the civil aviation sector.
Among the esteemed attendees were ICAO president Dr.Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu and ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton who shared some words outlining the significance of the commencement of the strengthened cooperation between the two global organisations.
ICAO president, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, spoke before the reception: “Since ICAO first established its headquarters in Montreal, the most prominent global aviation organizations and industry groups have joined us here, helping to establish this city as the World Capital of Civil Aviation.
“I’m very encouraged that the ITF has become the newest member of Montreal’s air transport ecosystem, and that its important voice and perspectives will now be contributing to aviation’s most pressing growth and development challenges on a more efficient and cost-effective basis.”
ITF general secretary, Stephen Cotton, added: “Civil aviation will be a main area of focus for us at our Singapore Congress in October. We’ve been working tirelessly to grow our influence within the sector to ensure that every civil aviation transport worker, that’s airport ground staff, cabin crew, air traffic control, pilots, and everyone worker in between, have equality and fair working conditions, regardless of what airline they work for or what country they’re from.
“On the run-up to Congress, we have been focusing on the unfair treatment of workers by low-cost airlines and ensuring there is equality for women workers and young workers in rapid growing airlines.
"Opening this office and strengthening this two-way communication with ICAO is pivotal in making sure the agenda of these workers is not only heard, but also turned into positive actions.”
As well as the reception for the opening of the new office, the ITF was in Montreal for the final Civil Aviation committee meeting before congress. This meeting brought together ITF committee members made up of ITF affiliated unions from around the globe.
As well as the committee meeting, a two-day workshop was held for the committee members to examine how best to influence the deregulation agenda within civil aviation.
The members also visited several ICAO representatives to discuss ongoing agendas and to reinforce the newly bolstered collaboration. Local ITF affiliated union, SIU Canada, helped to facilitate the meeting and reception which were a huge success.
It’s clear that the ITF Civil Aviation section is on the correct flightpath and is on course for sustained and increased positive influence within civil aviation, before and after congress.