Especially at this youth-oriented 44th Congress, the conference for young transport workers is a vital space for debate on the future of the working world. In their opening remarks, both ITF president Paddy Crumlin and general secretary Stephen Cotton highlighted the importance of young workers leading in decisions that will affect their lives.
ITF strategic researcher Rhea Chatterjee chaired a panel discussion on the future of work, covering a wide range of issues including automation, digital organising the ownership of new technologies. Encouragingly, live polling from young delegates suggests that most ITF unions are already campaigning on these issues.
Youth coordinator Baker Khundakji introduced the ITF’s work programme for the coming years. The conference then heard from trade-unionists organising at the front-line of the new economy, including Jack Boutros from the TWU and Daniel Walton from the AWU in Australia.
In a concrete case of young workers pushing for change, Elina Karavan from MTWTU in Ukraine proposed motion 26 to protect the rights of young seafarers and dockers – by encouraging maritime unions worldwide to strengthen their youth structures. The motion was adopted to great applause.
The new ITF youth committee was elected. The new co-chairs are Dorotea Zec from the Seafarers’ Union of Croatia and Alexandros Tokhi from Unifor in Canada. The outgoing committee was thanked for all its work and delegates took to the stage for a mass photo.