Improving working conditions for women in transport remains ETF key priority in male-dominated sector

6 Mar 2014

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On the occasion of the International Women’s Day on Saturday 8 March 2014, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) reiterates its commitment to achieving a better work environment and better working conditions for women in transport.

The 2013 ETF Women’s Conference and the ETF Congress decided to move forward promptly and with determination in addressing workplace health and safety, as well as workplace violence. These are the
two main priorities for the 4-year gender equality action plan of the ETF.

Transport is one of the industries where violence against women persists. Abuse from transport users and customers, and even from co-workers particularly in male-dominated workplaces is still experienced on large scale by women in our industry. We notice with surprise that there are cases where tolerating abuse is promoted by employers as part of a good quality service. It is with this in mind that the ETF and its Women’s Committee will soon start working on a zero-tolerance standard for workplace violence, as a starting point for all our member organisations willing to negotiate policies at sector or company levels in their respective countries.

As the ETF gender training package is now launched and published, the ETF will aim in the next four years to enrich it with a health and safety module. The same grass-root approach will be kept for this module. Most importantly, the package needs to remain simple and instructive, easy to use by any of our activists and rank-and-file members.

With the training package and the ETF gender equality action plan, the ETF commits to help unions defend women’s rights in transport. Cristina Tilling, ETF Political Secretary states: “The achievements we have experienced in transport in terms of gender equality in the past years could not have been possible without our motivated member organisations, without the total commitment of women union representatives and the ETF Women’s Committee. The International Women’s Day gives us a moment to take pride in these achievements and plan for the next steps. We trust that the 2013 – 2017 mandate will be a time of challenge, but also a time for success for equal rights between men and women in transport.

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