Transportation Workers to set Global Agenda in Toronto

By Freddie Pierce
The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) will be meeting in downtown Toronto this week to set the global agenda for transportation worker u...

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) will be meeting in downtown Toronto this week to set the global agenda for transportation worker unions right around the world, in the rail and road transportation sectors.

The road and rail transportation conference will take on issues like privatisation, deregulation, logistics and supply chains on a global scale, and how they all impact workers’ lives and workers’ rights.  Conference delegates will be debating how to support trade union efforts in Iran, Turkey and Swaziland.

The event is being co-sponsored by the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and the ITF, and is expected to attract more than 200 delegates from 76 unions in 44 countries, as far away as Nepal and Palestine.

"This event brings together road and railway trade unions from around the world with the message: Transport unions fighting back - to build stronger unions and to protect workers' rights,” said Mac Urata, ITF inland transport sections secretary.

"Together we will examine what's happening in a sector under constant pressure to deregulate and privatise – with the negative results witnessed by road and rail users almost everywhere. From those shared experiences we will build new and innovative strategies – practical and political, on public transport and freight transport, right through the supply chain – for change, and, where necessary, for resistance."

“Increasingly workers are being confronted by hostile global corporations that pit workers in one country against those in another,” said CAW Secretary-Treasurer and ITF executive board member Peter Kennedy.  “It is only through working together in a coordinated way that workers, and the unions that represent them, will have the power to make a difference and change our economic course. This conference is an important opportunity for collaboration across geographical lines.” 

Starting today, the first half of the week will focus on road transportation issues. On Wednesday, November 14, the focus will shift to both road and rail transportation. The following two days will focus primarily on issues surrounding rail transportation.

When: Monday, November 12- Friday, November 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Sheraton Centre Hotel in the Dominion Ballroom, 2nd floor         123 Queen Street West, Toronto, Canada

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