2018 is a momentous year for women transport workers. The International Labour Conference (ILC) in May of this year will see the first discussion of its kind between trade unions, governments and employers about a potential new international standard on violence at work. There is no guarantee that we will win a new convention which can, among other things, provide the first tripartite international definition of violence at work.
The ITF is working with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) to fight for a strong legal instrument that recognises women transport workers as high risk and provides a tool for all unions to use in their national industrial relations work to end violence against women in our industry. You can make use of the ITUC campaign toolkit and visit the ITUC campaign webpage and Facebook page for campaign updates from unions and allies. Please also post your own stories to the Facebook page or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the most powerful tools we have is to continue to build an indisputable body of evidence of the gender-based violence which woman who work in the transport industry face, and to use our collective voice representing millions of women transport workers around the world. This evidence can take the form of statistics and/or personal (even anonymous) testimony and can be used to lobby trade union national centres and governments, as well as at the collective bargaining table.
“During a 15-year railway career, I have been sexually assaulted twice, physically assaulted twice and I am now verbally abused on a daily basis, especially on late night trains. It leaves me feeling vulnerable and shaken.” (Railway worker)
In 2017, 63% of 1400 transport workers from across Europe who were asked about their experience of physical, sexual and psychological workplace violence, said they had experienced at least one recent act of violence. (Violence against women at work in Transport Survey by the European Transport Workers’ Federation)
“A woman was raped and her underwear was hung on the notice board, whilst the offender boasted to the rest of the crew that he had finally ‘got her’.” (Maritime worker)