In launching its own White Ribbon Campaign the Federation of Transport Trade Unions of Bulgaria have recognised the efforts of the Maritime Union of Australia.
The MUA’s White Ribbon Campaign is so well regarded that FTTUB has replicated parts of the initiative and invited MUA National Secretary and ITF President Paddy Crumlin to the photo exhibition marking the beginning of the campaign.
Titled ‘This is my Oath’ and located on the Bridge of Love in Sofia, some of the exhibits photographs include MUA members holding ‘Not Silent, Not Violent’ flags.
FFTUB President Ekaterina Yordanova said according to FTTUB's analysis, an estimate of 77.4% of women transport workers who interact with passengers or clients, believe that they might be at risk of violence in their job. “The union's statistics show that 53.3% of the cases of violence are indeed caused by passengers or clients,” she said.
Crumlin said the campaign calls for men to speak out and take an oath: An oath swearing never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.
“With a predominantly male workforce, the transport industry is the perfect place for the work of the White Ribbon movement,” he said.
“MUA Deputy National Secretary, Mick Doleman, who is a delegate at this ITF Congress, was instrumental in the MUA's unique Not Silent, Not Violent t-shirts and flags being displayed everywhere from oil rigs off the North West coast of Australia, to Antarctica, Sydney ferries and all Australian container terminals.
“As a result all male MUA officials, officers and a good many members have become White Ribbon Ambassadors. “Members of the MUA have spoken on White Ribbon in New Zealand, Malaysia, PNG, UK, South Africa and now Bulgaria.
“I know it is a truly global movement of great importance.”
Ekaterina Yordanova also invited Women's Liaison Officer Mich-Elle Myers to lead the celebratory launch as she was instrumental in sharing out work with them through the the ITF Women's Committee.
Below is a short video from the launch: