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Transport workers, operators and shippers unite to lift global standards on driver treatment

news 20 May 2021

The leaders of three major international organisations, representing transport workers, operators and shippers have launched a charter to improve how truck and van drivers are treated at collection and delivery sites.

Globally, more than 60 million commercial trucks are driven by qualified and dedicated workers who, unfortunately, often face difficult conditions, poor access to decent sanitation facilities and a lack of respect at loading and unloading sites – all of which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Launched by the Global Shippers Alliance (GSA), IRU, the world road transport organisation, and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the Driver Charter lays out commitments for shippers, transport operators and drivers to lift global standards for drivers.

The Charter also aims to address some of the barriers to recruitment in the industry, especially for women and young people, in order to equitably solve chronic driver shortages. More than one fifth of vacancies remain unfilled in many countries. However only 2% of truck drivers globally are women, and as few as 5% of drivers are under 25 in Europe and Russia.

Denis Choumert, GSA Chairman, said:

“Shippers want to run collection and delivery sites that are welcoming and secure for drivers. It is in our interest, and the interest of efficient global supply chains, to make sure that drivers are empowered to do their job well. This charter will encourage compliance with laws and standards on loading and unloading sites, and best practice on how we can best work with commercial drivers all over the world.”  

Umberto de Pretto, IRU Secretary General said:

“Road transport is a vital link in all supply chains. As we have seen clearly during the pandemic, truck and van drivers and the operators they work for are essential to the functioning of the global economy, yet all too often they face poor conditions. They are dedicated professionals who need a decent working environment to do their job properly.”

Stephen Cotton, ITF General Secretary said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world the importance of transport workers, and the drivers, who have kept the world moving. These workers must be able to do their job in a safe, respectful and non-discriminatory environment, with decent employment conditions. This charter is an important step by employers, shippers and unions to improve treatment for these key workers, and also for attracting more women and young people into the industry.”

Showing your commitment by signing the Charter is simple and only takes a few seconds. The Charter launches as the heads of IRU and ITF both speak today at an important plenary session of the International Transport Forum’s annual summit, on transport workers and the future of mobility.

For more information, contact: 

GSA: Katsiaryna Kliuyeva -

IRU: John Kidd -

ITF: Luke Menzies -

Notes for editors:

About the Global Shippers’ Alliance

The Global Shippers’ Alliance (GSA) represents the logistics interests of manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, collectively referred to as shippers. GSA consists of the Asian Shippers’ Alliance (ASA), the European Shippers’ Council (ESC), and the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI).

About IRU
IRU is the world road transport organisation, promoting economic growth, prosperity and safety through the sustainable mobility of people and goods. As the voice of more than 3.5 million companies operating mobility and logistics services in all global regions, IRU leads solutions to help the world move better.

About the ITF
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is a democratic global union federation of nearly 700 transport workers trade unions representing around 20 million workers in 150 countries. The ITF works to improve the lives of transport workers globally, encouraging and organising international solidarity among its network of affiliates. The ITF represents the interests of transport workers’ unions in bodies that take decisions affecting jobs, employment conditions and safety in the transport industry.