Champions of safe clean transport at Copenhagen

Published: Tue 15 Dec 2009 12:01 PM
Global union champions safe clean transport at Copenhagen
Global union federation the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) will champion the cause of safe, clean public transport at a special seminar for delegates at the Copenhagen climate change talks tomorrow.
The ITF will make its case from 14.00 to 15:30 at the World of Work (WoW) Pavilion,
LO-DK building, COP15, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Copenhagen, where, along with sister organisations like the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) it will be explaining the role of clean, green jobs in reducing emissions, tackling climate change and assuring a safer, fairer future. Press, along with all those attending COP15, are invited. There will be a strong union presence at the WOW Pavilion throughout the talks.
Representing the ITF will be Eduardo Chagas, European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) General Secretary; Asbjorn Wahl (ITF Climate Change Working Group, Chair); John Bainbridge, ITF Seafarers’ Section Assistant Secretary; and Alana Dave, head of the ITF’s Education Department.
ITF General Secretary David Cockroft explained: “Transport is one of the absolute key areas when looking at climate change. Yet governments and consumers can easily underestimate the massive changes that it has undergone. Globalisation has now brought the cost of transporting goods down to less than one percent of their total production cost. The price for that deregulated world of ultra-cheap movement of often non-essential products has been paid in pollution, energy consumption, and in reduced safety, working conditions and living standards for transport workers. A continuing, unfettered free market cannot address these problems.”
He continued: “The solution we are promoting in Copenhagen – and beyond – is for a planned approach that recognises transport’s multi-modal nature. This includes, for example, moving to reduce private car use while simultaneously developing better integrated, affordable and reliable public transport.”
“Transport is a global phenomenon that requires global regulation, global co-operation and global technology sharing in order to achieve truly sustainable means for people and goods to make the journeys they need to make.”
He concluded: “Cheap, unregulated transport doesn’t just drive down wages and cost jobs, it also harms the environment and puts passengers and workers at risk. Finding better solutions that respect the environment begins with finding solutions that respect those who work in, travel in and rely on, the transport sector.”

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