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
This is the current priority area of work for the Committee. There will be a women’s strand in the ETF’s health and safety campaign – “FIST” – to be launched in January 2015.
Violence Against Women
The Committee’s priority campaign on Violence Against Women Transport Workers has been delayed until next year, as the ETF awaits EU funding. I am finding this very frustrating, and again argued that there is campaigning work we can be getting on with before receiving funding.
As a result of my proposal, ETF is running a competition for transport workers to create a poster promoting the message, VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN - IT’S NOT PART OF THE JOB. RMT has submitted an entry to this, created by Esme Bradbury, Janine Booth, Becky Crocker and her brother Joe.
ETF is to ask affiliated unions for information about the work they have done on this issue. This will be used to draft a template policy/campaign.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is trialling a training programme, and promoting specific representatives to deal with issues of violence.
The French union federation has published a guide to prevent violence against women in the workplace, including statistics, posters and leaflets.
There is a useful ITF video about bullying and harassment at sea. I think it is good on the politics and reality of the issue, but I wish it had more to say about the role of trade unions.
The International Labour Office has published a useful policy brief: Promoting employment by preventing violence against women transport workers.
Download the excellent ITF Action Guide on Violence Against Women.
Developments in the European Parliament
The European Commission wants to scrap the Maternity Leave Directive, which guarantees women a minimum 20 weeks leave when they have a baby.
Elections have seen changes in the political balance of the European Parliament, with the Conservative group larger and the Socialist group smaller.