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ITF congress closes with global action pledge

9 August 2006

The ITF’s four yearly congress closed today in Durban, South Africa, with the organisation committing itself to further escalate its campaigning activities in an increasingly globalised world.

The congress is the ITF’s supreme decision making body, and during this week (August 2 to 9) the 1,194 participants from 387 unions have mandated the organisation to carry out the Organising Globally: Fighting for our Rights programme during the next four years. This commits the ITF to strategically developing and exploiting the strengths of international solidarity - especially given transport workers’ key role in globalised supply chains.

In his closing address the newly re-elected ITF General Secretary David Cockroft thanked the Satawu trade union for its help in organising the huge congress, and said: “This has been the biggest, most effective and representative congress in ITF history. The over 100 countries represented here want the ITF to be an even more action-oriented organisation.”

“This week we have taken decisions on organising and on fighting for trade union rights that will strengthen transport unions everywhere.”

The congress saw the launch of a campaign to ensure decent work conditions in ports worldwide. (for full details including press pack see www.itfglobal.org/press-area/index.cfm/pressdetail/936 )

Delegates also voted unanimously to initiate a worldwide campaign against HIV/Aids that will be launched on World Aids Day, 1 December 2006 (for full details including press pack see www.itfglobal.org/press-area/index.cfm/pressdetail/948  )

Other initiatives taken at the ITF congress included:

The election of Satawu (the South African Transport & Allied Workers' Union) General Secretary Randall Howard as the  ITF’s new President (for full details including press pack see www.itfglobal.org/press-area/index.cfm/pressdetail/957 ) and the elections of the ITF’s Vice-Presidents, General Secretary, Executive Board, and industrial, sectoral, women’s and fair practices committees (see www.itfglobal.org/news-online.cfm/newsdetail/943 )

The setting up of My ITF, a new electronic notification service designed to keep members informed of key issues in the global transport industry (see www.itfglobal.org/news-online.cfm/newsdetail/916)

The endorsement of the first ever continent-wide framework for civil aviation across Africa (see www.itfglobal.org/news-online.cfm/newsdetail/942)

Support for a 12 month research project into fatigue in the civil aviation industry (see www.itfglobal.org/news-online.cfm/newsdetail/927)

An emergency resolution was passed that condemned the continuing violence in the Middle East, backed the UN call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, and called for all governments to stop supplying weapons to those involved in the conflict. It also supported humanitarian efforts, called on the ITF to assist transport workers’ unions in the Lebanon with reconstruction and recovery of damaged infrastructure, and stated that lasting peace will only be ensured in the Middle East through the implementation of UN resolutions and the full implementation of a two state solution for Israel and Palestine through the ‘Road Map for Peace’. Another emergency resolution was passed backing the ITF and ICFTU’s campaign against the government of Iran’s abuses of workers’ rights and demanding the release of imprisoned trade unionist Mansour Osanloo of the Vahed bus workers’ union. In the last 10 minutes of the congress delegates received the news that he has finally been freed. For details of all emergency resolutions see www.itfglobal.org/news-online.cfm/newsdetail/955/region/5/section/0/order/1

Congress awarded Gold Badges for distinguished service in the international trade union movement (See www.itfglobal.org/news-online.cfm/newsdetail/956)

During its final Plenary Session (see www.itfglobal.org/news-online.cfm/newsdetail/956 for report of this session), congress condemned terrorist attacks on civilians in Mumbai, London and Madrid and commended the professional and courageous response of emergency services and transport staff. Other resolutions called on:
–    Affiliated unions to support investment in companies that respect human and trade union rights
–    For no outside intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela and Cuba
–    For the ITF and its affiliates to prioritise the participation of women throughout their organisations
–    For the ITF to promote further engagement with Chinese transport workers
–    For initiatives to strengthen trade union rights in Pakistan


See also www.itfglobal.org/press-area/index.cfm/pressdetail/949 for details of other matters considered by congress or /reports.cfm for section and committee reports.


For more information contact ITF press officer, Sam Dawson.
Direct line: + 44 (0)20 7940 9260.
Email: dawson_sam@itf.org.uk

International Transport Workers' Federation - ITF:
ITF House, 49 - 60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DS
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7403 2733
Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7375 7871
Email: mail@itf.org.uk
Web: www.itfglobal.org

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ITF House, 49-60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DR  |  +44 20 7403 2733   |  mail@itf.org.uk