Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shipping And Climate Change Top Of ITF Agenda

Union Transport Conference Proceeds in Mexico
Shipping News Feature

MEXICO – WORLDWIDE – The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), which represents over 4.6 million industry workers across the globe, have indicated the seriousness with which they are taking climate change by devoting today solely to seek strategies for fairer, more sustainable and less polluting transport. The matters discussed will be carried over to the organisations quadrennial conference which begins in Mexico City tomorrow.

The conference will recommend three resolutions which, if passed, will be binding on the ITF and its policies for the next four years. To support its search for new strategies and alliances on climate change the ITF has also worked with the Global Labor Institute at Cornell University, USA, to develop ideas about the problem and the solutions which it requires.Alana Dave, ITF Education Officer, explained:

“This conference is a historic first for the ITF, and one that reflects a growing recognition that transport unions need to respond to the issue of climate change at a workplace level and beyond.

“Transport is a significant and growing source of emissions, responsible for around 14 per cent of the global total. We aim to take a lead in promoting a science-based approach which utilises ‘reduce-shift-improve’ strategies that will contribute to the major transformations which are necessary in the transport industry and society as a whole. We particularly support the creation of sustainable jobs and a just transition.”

The conference will study three resolutions on climate change proposed by the ITF’s member unions around the world, the most wide ranging of which, Responding to Climate Change, which has a broad spectrum for discussion and agreement ranging from acceptance of the reality of Global Warming to the production statistics and reduction of the 14% or so of global emissions produced by the transport industry.

Obviously as a leading union organisation part of the conference will concentrate on the ITF’s belief that transport costs are too low and that wages and working conditions have been adversely affected by Government policies over the past thirty or so years whilst acknowledging that the transport industry itself is not the culprit but reacting to market pressures.

Full details of the conference agenda and progress can be seen at the ITF conference website.

Photo:- The 41st ITF Conference held in Durban in 2006.