On October 15, the ITF Road Transport Section Committee, representing over 2.5 million road transport workers around the world, met in Montreal, Canada, to coordinate actions to combat the negative effects of privatisation, deregulation and liberalisation in the sector.
All over the world, transport workers are fighting for fair treatment, against new exploitative forms of employment which casualise and outsource workers, and against attacks on fundamental rights and working conditions.
James Hoffa, the new chair of the ITF Road Transport Section, and general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, opened the meeting with an inspiring call to action, highlighting issues that affiliates will collectively tackle to ensure a better future for workers within the sector.
“The importance of global solidarity has never been greater, and unions continuing to stand together vital to challenging the growth of multinational corporations who attack hard won conditions and the rights of workers,” said Mr Hoffa.
“We know that there is a correlation in the rise of corporate power and the decline in workers’ rights, we’ve seen this across road transport with drivers’ wages driven down and job security become more and more precarious,” added Mr Hoffa.
Noel Coard, ITF Inland Transport Secretary, underscored the priority for the section: “The work of the ITF Road Transport Committee is invaluable to challenging this corporate power and elitism, especially the multinationals at the top of the supply chain who must be held accountable for working conditions and health and safety of the millions of workers that move their goods.”
Ending exploitation and social dumping, holding economic employers accountable for their supply chains, establishing global safe rates for drivers, improving safety standards in the industry, and holding multinationals accountable to global standards were also highlighted as crucial priorities.
The ITF Road Transport Committee also welcomed new members to the committee including:
- John Samuelsen, International President of the Transport Workers Union of America, elected as chair of USA;
- Len Poirier, Director of Road Transportation at Unifor, elected as chair of Canada; and
- Anita Rosentreter, First Union, elected as youth representative for Asia Pacific.