On behalf the International Transport Federation (ITF) Canadian Coordinating Committee, representing tens of thousands of transport workers across Canada including rail, we extend our solidarity with India railway workers and unions, including All India Railwaymen's Federation (AIRF) and National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR). We are all reeling in the wake of the tragic train crash in Odisha, India – one of the worst the country has seen in a century. We send our deepest sympathies and condolences to all the families that have lost loved ones in the accident.
Canada has not been immune to our own rail disasters. We will soon near the ten-year commemoration of the Lac-Mégantic, Quebec train derailment that saw 47 fatalities in July of 2013. Around the world, rail disasters such as these continue to persist because of lack of investment in rail safety. All recent disasters are a stark reminder of the importance of strong labour unions, both nationally and internationally, to continue pushing for greater health and safety measures, including anti-collision measures, enhanced investments in rail infrastructure and equipment, increased inspections, stronger penalties for corporations violating safety regulations and labour laws, and to mobilize against corporate and government attempts to further deregulate the industry. We are committed to working with our global union affiliates and partners to ensure such disasters are never repeated and that workers and communities are protected.
Canadian affiliates of the International Transport Federation (ITF) met on June 7 in Toronto and issued this joint statement. This includes: Unifor the Union, Teamsters Canada, BCFMWU, CATCA, CMSG, CUPE, ILWU Canada, NUPGE Canada, SIU.