Unifor leadership take part in ITF meetings in U.K.

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With a growing attack on labour rights and democracy in many places of the world, trade union leaders with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) gathered in London, U.K. in April to discuss common struggles, organizing and strategic campaigns to win for workers. 

Unifor National President Lana Payne and Atlantic Regional Director Jennifer Murray represented Unifor. 

Lana Payne speaking into a mic

“In the ITF we say, we move the world. Nothing works without us, nothing moves without us, but it’s critical that we build worker power and global solidarity,” said Payne, who represents Unifor on the ITF executive board. 

“Many of the employers we deal with are global corporations, so it makes a difference when we can build worker solidarity across borders and that solidarity has never been more important.”

Whether it is developing campaigns to address the challenges around the future of work or the attacks on labour rights and civil society, the ITF and its affiliated unions are at the centre of these fightbacks. 

Jenn Murray speaking into a mic

Murray participated as co-chair on the ITF Women Transport Committee, where she helped lead the discussion on women warehouse workers, artificial intelligence, safe cities.

"Being in a room with union leaders from around the world gives me great hope that the change we are collectively fighting for will become reality," said Murray. 

"With the ITF and its affiliate unions, we are creating robust opposition to the mega corporations' race to the bottom and finding ways to lift every worker up. In today's global economy, all workers have to fight together."

The Women Transport Committee also talked about building women transport workers’ economic power, including ending the systemic exclusion of women from decent and secure work in the global transport and logistics industry and building the power of trade union action to end violence against women transport workers globally, regionally, nationally and sectorally.

Last year marked 25 years of the ITF Women Transport Workers’ Committee, and the Committee meeting in April also spent time reflecting on 25 years of collective struggle and achievement of ITF Women. 

Payne was a panelist on the Trade Union Solidarity meeting on April 17, where she participated in discussions about recommendations to strengthen union building work and identifying strategies on how the labour movement can reclaim shrinking civic space and democracy erosion. She highlighted the work of Unifor’s Social Justice Fund in this fight to build global solidarity.

“The only way we fight back against right-wing governments attacking labour rights, like we are seeing in so many countries now, is to build our own power as workers, to not cede any ground in our fight for a better world,” said Payne. “Unions remain a shining example of democracy in the world.” 

Payne reported on many of Unifor’s fights including our demands for anti-scab and stronger union organizing laws in Canada.

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Jenny Yuen

National Communications Representative