By Keith Aiken, IAM Canadian Transportation Coordinator
The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) held their annual Civil Aviation week November 9 – 13, 2020 that focused on strategy for Relief, Recovery and Reform for an industry that has devastated by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
This year’s Civil Aviation week was different, as it was held virtually. Each day there were two sessions held to try and accommodate as many participants from around the world, dealing with different time zones. Daily topics included “Defending jobs, Securing Policies”, “Creating Safe Workplaces” and “Organizing and Campaigning to Survive the Aviation Crisis”. The week concluded with a public webinar on “Securing jobs for a Successful Recovery”.
The week was a demonstration in international solidarity where unions from 46 countries were represented. Union delegates from around the world shared ideas and best practices but it was clear that a collective tri-partite response is needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments, Employers and Unions must come together to ensure that workers are protected.
A theme throughout the week was the immediate need for a common worldwide rapid COVID-19 testing program that would help instill confidence in the travel industry. The IAM has been calling on the Canadian government to implement a National COVID-19 testing program in Canada. “Rapid testing technology must be implemented nationally as quickly as possible. The issue of consumer confidence in flying is a significant issue for IAM members and the IAM is calling on the Federal Government to move forward with rapid testing in all jurisdictions and at every airport across Canada,” said Stan Pickthall, IAM General Vice-President.
The IAM would like to thank the International Trade Workers Federation for organizing this great week of sessions and building on international solidarity. Working together, we will chart a path out of this pandemic.
The IAM is the largest union representing workers in air transportation in Canada.
ITF statement on jobs crisis in the aviation industry:
ITF website: https://www.itfglobal.org/en