The urban transport committee opened with a summary of the achievements of the Our Public Transport programme: organising project in Bangkok and in bus rapid transit in Nairobi, building union power in multinational companies, developing the relationship and international agreements with UITP and integrating gender through building women’s leadership, ending gender based occupational segregation and violence against women.
ITF young workers took the stage, highlighting their issues in public transport and the essential part they play in union work. The chair, Asbjørn Wahl appreciated the interruption and advised that “the next time you disturb a meeting, it should be a meeting of the employers!”
There were four speakers: from RTBU in Australia, ATGWU in Uganda, CGT in France and BWU in Barbados, who focused on the key topics for the future of Our Public Transport: technology and automation, organising informal and formal workers in integrated public transport, organising in multinational companies, and gender. There was lively participation with 20 speakers from the floor, discussing these topics and taking ownership of the OPT programme.
The outgoing chair, Asbjørn Wahl rallied the conference, calling for:
“More than ever there is the need to bring the economy under democratic control. We need to build power from below, which is necessary to shift the balance of power and to influence political decisions. We are transport workers building power”.
The new chair, John Mark Mwanika from ATGWU, Uganda said: “We are facing enormous challenges of privatisation and informalisation in public transport. Listen to the voice of workers and organise, organise and organise!”