Singapore – The largest ITF (International Transport Workers Federation) Congress is underway in Singapore this week and the IAM is among the participants from 600 unions representing more than 19 million members from 140 countries. This congress is the biggest to date with over 2,000 participants.
The civil aviation conference at the ITF congress talked about the global aviation industry with an affiliate-led outlook. “The conference opened with a research report on the global aviation industry,” explained IAM Canadian airline coordinator Carlos DaCosta, a delegate to the congress. “The report looked at four key points; the airlines are the main economic player, the bulk of airline networks are regional with an explosive growth in Asia Pacific, an influx of low cost airlines worldwide and that cargo may offer leverage to the airline workers.”
The ITF is targeting anti-union airlines Qatar Airways, Avianca-LATAM and Ryanair and there was a presentation on the organizing campaigns at these carriers. It was determined that a more consolidated effort is required against these aggressively anti-union companies.
“IAM Transportation District Lodge 140 General Chairperson Mike Corrado updated the Congress about start-up organizing initiatives in Jakarta, Bangkok, Casablanca and Panama City. “Airport Unions are seeking to address the fragmentation of the industry by coordinating efforts across sectors with strategic approaches,” explained Corrado. “Let’s fix what’s broken.” Corrado also spoke about the Toronto Airport Workers Council and how it works to resolve airport issues with airport authorities and gather support from workers for various campaigns.
IAM Local Lodge 2323 Vice President Dan Janssen spoke at a fringe event called a ‘A race to the top in aviation.’ Janssen told delegates of Fight for Fairness and $15 an hour minimum wage in Canada. He spoke about stopping the race to the bottom in wages for airport workers and the collaborative efforts being taken to reverse that trend.
The Congress aims to give transport workers a collective voice and set the agenda for the transport industry for the next five years. It will also discuss how digitization in reshaping global transport along with strategic policies. The Congress continues this week.
IAM Canada delegates to 44th ITF Congress
From left to right – IAM Canada GVP Stan Pickthall, IAM Local Lodge Vice President Dan Janssen, IAM Transportation District Lodge 140 General Chairperson Mike Corrado, IAM Canadian Airline Coordinator Carlos DaCosta