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Rail unions in CIS region ‘central’ to ITF

29 Mar 2016
The ITF is building its support for rail unions in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), to help make them even stronger for tackling the challenges of globalisation, general secretary Steve Cotton told trade unions during a visit to Moscow.

He told the unions that their power and successes make them central to the ITF global union family and that being in the ITF in turn makes them stronger. The federation is putting more resources into the region, has signed a co-operation agreement with the CIS regional railway organisation, and its inland transport assistant secretary, Janina Malinovska, is working closely with ITF member unions there.

On 23 March, Mr Cotton addressed the council meeting of the regional railway union body (ICTURWTB) and praised unions’ strong leadership, achievements and exemplary commitment to working together.

He said: “You are strong unions…but you are also forward-thinking unions. Faced with the threats of outsourcing, casualisation, job security, you show a remarkable ability to stand up for your members. You secure collective bargaining agreements, protect their rights, and grow your strength. You are there, at the table, in the workplace, in the community, fighting back.

“You recognise common issues, common problems, and that only a common response will do. Joining forces, a council of railway unions in the region, you are saying to your members that brothers and sisters across the region, across the world, must help each other. Regional, cross-border cooperation between unions; collaboration, partnership. Like-minded unions confronting challenges together, head-on.

“You are leaders nationally, leaders regionally, and through the ITF you can be leaders globally. We need your experience, your leadership, helping all our affiliates fight back.”

On 24 March, Mr Cotton addressed the congress of the ITF’s Russian rail union, the ROSPROFZHEL. Accompanied by Nicolay Nikiforov, ITF executive board member and president of both ROSPROFZHEL and ICTURWTB, he met other Russian member unions and workers.

Read about the meeting between the ITF, 40 leaders from railway unions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and ILO experts on organising and promoting ILO conventions throughout the rail industry.  

Watch the ITF’s YouTube video about its campaign on issues affecting road and rail workers. 

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