July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded with transport workers on the frontline of climate crisis exposed to increasingly dangerously hot working conditions. By 2030, more than 2% of total working hours worldwide may be lost because of it being too hot to work.
We need to build resilient infrastructure that means workers can safely work in hot conditions as well as making sure that workers and their communities are represented fairly in the transition to greener energy. This transition must prioritise decent wages and conditions for all workers over private profit. This can only be achieved by companies listening to their employees and putting workers at the centre of decision making.
Unions, aviation employers and governments agreed to strategic tripartite action on just transition with the International Labour Organisation following a technical meeting on sustainable aviation earlier this year.
However, the United Arab Emirates – which hosted COP 28 – has no independent trade unions and does not recognise the right of workers to collective bargaining. We are calling on Emirates Airline to establish just transition committees, with elected workers’ representatives so that the interests of workers are protected.
The ITF stands ready to offer training to Emirates Airlines so workers can hold independent workplace elections.
✍️ Take action to demand Emirates allow worker representation
Our petition to His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum
Transport unions, led by the International Transport Workers’ Federation were at COP 28 in Dubai calling for investment in sustainable transport, just transition and emissions reductions.
Transport workers are on the frontlines of climate change. July 2023 was the hottest month ever recorded, resulted in at least 61000 deaths in Europe alone. September saw severe floods in Greece, Turkey and Libya, also causing deaths in the thousands.
ILO research suggests that, by 2030, more than two per cent of total working hours worldwide may be lost every year as a result of climate change, either because it is too hot to work or because workers must work at a slower pace because of the heat. Forty per cent of employment worldwide – 1.2 billion jobs – relies directly on a healthy and stable environment.
We must make sure that the risks of climate change and the burdens of climate action do not fall on workers. The decarbonization of the transport sector must be rapid, safe and fair for workers and communities.
Unions, aviation employers and governments agreed to strategic tripartite action on just transition with the ILO following a technical meeting on sustainable aviation earlier this year.
We need Emirates to take action and establish workplace just transition committees with elected workers’ representatives, to ensure that workers are co-creators of climate solutions and that their expertise is integrated into decision making.
The ITF is ready and willing to offer training to Emirates so workers can hold independent workplace elections.