Violence against women transport workers remains a powerful barrier to the attraction and retention of women working in the transport industry. Day 1 of the forum covered in detail what violence against women is, the different forms it takes and what it looks like in transport workplaces. We acknowledge that women transport workers face added risks of violence because they often work alone, they work on the ‘front-line’ dealing with aggressive and irate passengers, they work in male-dominated industries, they work unsociable hours and often at night. This workshop deepened our understanding of power and control, how and where it is exercised, how it silences survivors, perpetuates myths of accountability and prevents survivors from reporting and seeking justice. We looked at how changes in women’s rights have been achieved over the generations and see that violence against women transport workers is about power rather than culture. It can change!
These issues exist for women transport workers everywhere but union responses differ greatly and this has a big impact on how women facing violence feel they are able to act in terms of keeping safe and seeking justice. We wanted to acknowledge the good work currently being done on these issues and shared campaign success stories to showcase such achievements and show possibilities of what unions can do, taking into account a range of starting points. We presented research findings on the development of an ITF global women’s advocacy programme and engaged with participants to see how we can move forward with development and implementation of this programme.
Day 2 of the action forum focused on tools unions can use to strengthen their responses and prevention work on violence against women working in public transport. We gave an overview of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and how the ITF and affiliates can contribute to achieving the strongest outcomes within the proposed 2019 ILO convention on violence against men and women in the world of work. For more information you can read ILO shows leadership with gendered workplace violence standard
We also explored opportunities that arise from the relationship between the ITF and the employer organisation the International Association of Public Transport (UITP).
Domestic violence (DV) is prevalent all over the world and the impacts are felt within the workplace by survivors, their colleagues and managers but also perpetrators themselves. At the action forum we shared some of the work carried out by the DV@Work network and explored why domestic violence is in fact a labour and a union issue. Unions must be able to provide worker stories as evidence in order to expose the reality and prevalence of these issues and to enable change. This is understandably difficult because of confidentiality and stigma. We offered guidance and support on how this can be done. Evidence and stories are tools for change. We shared an Australian example of how evidence building and union action delivered collective bargaining clauses around domestic violence leave. For more information you can read Australian Council of Trade Unions breaks ground with anti-domestic violence efforts
We recognise the importance of providing and sharing resources and the ease of having everything in one place and so our resources page will help you manage and share materials. You can find all handouts and presentations from the forum here.
ITF/FNV action forum, Bali, May 2016