International solidarity

Support and solidarity for workers and trade unionists around the world

Report to RMT Women's Conference 2016: ETF Women's Committee

WHAT IS THE ETF?

The European Transport Workers’ Federation, linking transport trade unions across Europe. RMT is one of several UK affiliates.

Its Women’s Committee includes nominees from various countries and sectors. I am a member of the Committee for the term 2013-2017.

 

PRIORITY CAMPAIGN 1 – VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN TRANSPORT WORKERS

Despite having no funding for this campaign, we have been able to take a couple of useful initiatives:

ETF Women's Committee, March 2015: Section Reports

DOCKS / PORTS

The Social Dialogue Committee for Ports had adopted a document about women's employment, including recruitment and working conditions for women. Women's employment has increased as technology has led to much port work becoming less physical.

Now the document has been adopted, it needs to be implemented. The strategy is based on raising awareness and changing the image of port work rather than on imposing quotas. Some trade unions have objected to this initiative, as they see women as "taking men's jobs".

ETF Women's Committee meeting, March 2015: Campaigning for Health & Safety and Against Violence

The European Transport Workers' Federation's Women's Committee meets twice per year to discuss issues facing women transport workers across Europe and to drive forward the programme of work agreed by the four-yearly ETF Women's Conference.

WOMEN'S HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK

Report part 1: ETF Women's Committee meeting, October 2014 - The Committee and its Campaigns

An ETF Women’s Committee meeting consists of the elected Committee members, representatives of each sector (railways, civil aviation, etc), guests from affiliated trade unions, local women trade unionists (this time, from Antwerp port), and ETF staff. At the next meeting, we will be joined by the newly-elected young women’s representative. I have proposed that RMT arranges for our National Women’s Advisory Committee Chair, Becky Crocker, to attend the next meeting, in March 2015.

 

Women’s Health and Safety at Work

Report part 2: ETF Women's Committee meeting, October 2014 - Women Port Workers

Women Working at Antwerp Port

Having begun working as a receptionist in 1975, Monique Verbeeck is the first female secretary of the Belgian port union, BTB. She is also the ITF and ETF women port workers’ representative. Monique introduced a deputation of women union activists from the Port of Antwerp, who addressed the meeting and took us on a visit to the port.

A DHL worker told us that port working is no longer entirely a “man’s world”, although it is still male-dominated.

Report part 3: ETF Women's Committee meeting, October 2014 - Country and Sector reports

Country Reports

Spain

From 2007, the socialist government introduced equality legislation and a framework to demand action against sexism and harassment. But since then, the situation has been worsened by economic crisis, with equalities driven off the agenda, curbs on collective bargaining, crèches closed, and equality plans dropped.

There has been a “dualisation of the labour market”, a split between secure workers and precarious workers, who are harder to unionise.

ETF Women's Committee - Campaigns and Other Business

More from the ETF Women's Committee meeting on 19-20 March 2014

  • Women's Health and Safety at Work
  • Violence Against Women
  • International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) report
  • Women's representation
  • Membership questionnaire
  • Training package
  • European TUC report
  • Rule changes
  • Study on discrimination
  • Next meeting

    Women's Health and Safety at Work