Most Canadians take safe sanitation for granted. But across the world, approximately 3.6 billion people do not have access to a safely managed sanitation service (WHO/UNICEF 2021).
As an affiliate of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), Unifor recognizes World Toilet Day as an opportunity to raise awareness about regions and workplaces where workers still fight for the basic dignity of safe sanitation.
The ITF’s forthcoming online resource will track workers’ stories and their struggles for better sanitation conditions and celebrates successful campaigns around the world. Read more about health issues, legal information, case reports, progressive legislation, and template surveys on the ITF site.
“These are detailed tools for bargaining in every workplace,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Secretary Treasurer and ITF Board Member, who also stressed that the needs of members are varied in every workplace. “To be blunt, safe sanitation at work is not merely access to a urinal. Canadian transport workers are diverse and so are their individual needs for clean, appropriate and safe facilities.”
Unifor supports the ITF Transport Workers’ Sanitation Charter. Being on the move, transport workers, including those in workplaces across Canada, face unique challenges for healthy washroom conditions. Unifor continues to fight for improvements that protect the health and safety of all transport workers at the bargaining table and at every level of government.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is a democratic global union federation of 665 transport workers trade unions representing over 18 million workers in 147 countries. The ITF works to improve the lives of transport workers globally, encouraging and organising international solidarity among its network of affiliates. The ITF represents the interests of transport workers' unions in bodies that take decisions affecting jobs, employment conditions and safety in the transport industry.
The sanitation charter work has been driven by the ITF’s urban transport unions representing public transport workers. Some of the charter’s demands are:
- access to secure and clean toilets for women and men, which are well lit inside and outside
- ventilated, lockable cubicles
- appropriate hygiene (washing) facilities with clean water
- affordable and appropriate menstrual hygiene products provided
- paid rest breaks for transport workers who should be able to access toilets when they need them during working hours - without delay, and with no loss of income.