What is ITF Seafarers?

Revista: SLN Heading nr.1 (1)
Capitol: ITF Seafarers
Pagina: 6-7
Autor: ITF Seafarers - Autor necunoscut

Cod articol: #1-3-235
Link: http://revistacapcompas.ro/reader/revista-slnh-nr-1/06-7

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is a democratic, affiliate-led federation recognized as the world's leading transport authority. We fight passionately to improve working lives, connecting trade unions from 150 countries that may otherwise be isolated and helping their members to secure rights, equality and justice. ITF organizations are the voice for 18.5 million working men and women across the world. The ITF was founded in 1896 in London by European seafarers' and dockers' union leaders who realized the need to organise internationally against strike breakers. Today the ITF organises workers in ships, ports, railways, road freight and passenger transport, inland waterways, fisheries, tourism and civil aviation. The ITF represents transport workers at world level and promotes their interests through global campaigning and solidarity. It is dedicated to the advancement of independent and democratic trade unionism, and to the defence of fundamental human and trade union rights. It is opposed to any form of totalitarianism, aggression and discrimination. The ITF is one of several Global Federation Unions allied with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The ITF represents the interests of transport workers' unions in bodies which take decisions affecting jobs, employment conditions or safety in the transport industry, such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). What does the ITF do? The ITF's role is to support its member trade unions and find ways of defending the interests of transport workers in the global economy. A major function of the ITF is informing and advising unions about developments in the transport industry in other countries or regions of the world. The ITF also maintains a specialist education department, dedicated to the development of strong and democratic transport unions. Objectives The aims of the ITF are set out in its Constitution (see below). They are: • to promote respect for trade union and human rights worldwide; • to work for peace based on social justice and economic progress; • to help its affiliated unions defend the interests of their members; • to provide research and information services to its affiliates; • to provide general assistance to transport workers in difficulty. Union coordination The ITF brings unions together to share information and build common strategies. Unions meet in major union international conferences to discuss their industry or their transnational employer. Specialist international task groups deal with more specific and technical issues such as occupational health. Mobilising solidarity The ITF supports its affiliates to take solidarity action with each other. When transport unions in one country are in conflict with employers or governments and need direct help from unions elsewhere, the ITF can provide international support. In recent disputes, international action and international pressure have proved a major, sometimes decisive, factor in achieving union objectives. The ITF organises international solidarity when transport unions in one country are in conflict with employers or government and need direct help from unions in other countries. The kind of solidarity needed can range from protest messages, demonstrations and political pressure, to direct industrial action in the form of strikes, boycotts etc. The ITF's worldwide campaign in the maritime industry against the use by ship owners of Flags of Convenience (FOCs) to escape from national laws and national unions is a good example of solidarity. Campaigns To highlight issues of particular concern to transport workers, the ITF runs international campaigns. These have included worldwide actions by rail workers on safety, aviation workers against 'air rage', road transport workers against excessive working hours and port workers fighting union-busting in ports. The ITF's oldest and most famous campaign is against Flag of Convenience shipping. The ITF's FOC Campaign was formally launched in 1948. The FOC Campaign has two elements: • A political campaign aimed at eliminating the flag of convenience system by achieving global acceptance of a genuine link between the flag a ship flies and the nationality or residence of its owners, managers and seafarers; • An industrial campaign designed to ensure that seafarers who serve on flag of convenience ships, whatever their nationality, are protected from exploitation by shipowners. Information The ITF aims to keep its affiliates informed of worldwide developments that have an impact on their local or national activities. The ITF also provides analysis to others such as the press and media on developments in the transport industry which affect workers. The ITF publishes 'Transport International', a quarterly magazine covering issues of importance to transport workers around the world. The ITF maintains this web site with information about all its current activities. Representation The ITF represents transport workers' interests in international bodies which take decisions affecting jobs, employment conditions, or safety. Such bodies include the International Labour Organisation, the International Maritime Organisation, and the International Civil Aviation Organisation,. The ITF also takes up the interests of transport workers with the OECD, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation. Who can join the ITF? Any trade union with members in the transport industry can apply to join the ITF. There are criteria and procedures which a union must follow before it can become an affiliate. For an application form and further information, please contact the ITF.