ITF Youth Conference Report - Montreal 2012

The MUA sent a four-person delegation to the ITF Youth Conference in Montreal, Canada. The delegation included Comrades Paul McAleer, Danny Cain, David Ball and Kellieanne Hunt and occurred on 17, 18, 19 September.

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The conference had 120 participants from 54 unions from 28 countries and was the first Conference to occur outside of an ITF Congress and demonstrates the enhanced role young workers are playing within the ITF.

The Conference saw Paul McAleer finish his term as Co-Chair of the ITF Young Workers Committee with Canadian Auto Workers representative Travis Harrison assuming this role for Conference.

The Conference discussed numerous challenges facing young transport workers with there being a number of breakout groups on Strengthening the ITF and its affiliates, the ITF young workers network, Precarious employment, and Climate Change. The MUA ensured that there was an MUA representative in each of the sessions.

One of the standout moments of the Conference was when well known Environmental campaigner and trade unionist Jonathon Neale delivered a presentation on the impact of climate change and what should be a transport workers union global response. The presentation was delivered in a way that young workers could understand with complex information outlined in a basic but solutions based way.

Dave Spooner from the Global Labour Institute spoke about the disastrous outcomes for those in precarious work, and its particular impact on young workers whose job security is shattered by these informal arrangements and the challenges this has for organising opportunities across transport sectors in many parts of the world.

Panel sessions on the FOC Campaign, Organising Globally, Global Supply Chain, and the POC Campaign also illuminated young transport workers on the breadth of ITF campaigning across regions and sections.

The ITF Conference highlights the difficulties that the Asia Pacific region has in advancing this work with very few unions participating from the region. Conference also passed a strong resolution condemning Patricks in its implementation of automation without negotiation.

Young transport workers from the Arab world attended and highlighted the enormous struggles and sacrifices young workers make, including one comrade who had been gaoled for his alleged involvement in democracy demonstrations.

The MUA attendees served their union proudly and demonstrated that the MUA is providing the necessary resources so that MUA young workers can participate in any global forums.

David Ball having been elected as the Chair of the MUA National young Workers Committee should now assume the position that Paul McAleer will vacate as a member of the four person Asia Pacific group.

The four areas have already been identified as key areas that the MUA young workers committee need to invest energies in, having been incorporated into the MUA policies on young workers as a result of attendance at previous conferences.