Organising women workers to build union power

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More women than ever work within the transport industry, a sector which has historically been male-dominated.

Question 1

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What can the ITF and affiliate unions do to become increasingly relevant to women transport workers?

Question 2

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What is the most important issue for women transport workers where you work?

Question 3

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How has your union successfully engaged more women in union activity?

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Strong unions need women dockworkers

Dockers section representative for the ITF women's committee Monique Verbeeck introduces herself and the issue of building union strength among dockers' unions by organising women.

Follow this link to watch the film:

What can the ITF and affiliate unions do to become increasingly

1. Put more emphasis on woment training in leadership and capacity

2. Make sure that employers eradicate gender disctrimination and
gender based violence at workplaces.

3. Campaing for more positions for the women in the leadership stucures of the

ITF women are empowered by leadership training!

Irene, thank you for your comments. The ITF women's leadership training course was run for a second time in 2013 and feedback is really encouraging. Women going through the process tell us that they feel more empowered to put themselves forward for positions in their union and to encourage other women to do the same. Is your union already working towards achieving these things, if so how? This is an area where sharing your experience is crucial as we all know, it isn't easy! There's more information on what the ITF is doing to train and promote women leaders:

What you've said also links in with a lot of the comments in the forum on violence against women so we'd encourage those reading this to head there and take a look at the discussion going on there too. 

1.Ensure that your union has

1.Ensure that your union has a policy on equal opportunities.
2.Lobby your government for improved equal opportunities legislation.
3.Include equal opportunities on the bargaining agenda.

1. Equal oppotunities for all

1. Equal oppotunities for all

1. Equal oppotunities for all

1. Equal oppotunities for all

The changing face of dockers - men and women working together

As union official representing both male and female dockworkers in Belgium for more than 30 years, the last 10 years there is a trend that more women want to become dockworker. Therefore as unions we have to encourage them to become part of this male dominated sector, involve them in union activities (training sessions, education programs, CBA negotiations, campaigns) and make them aware that they can play a significant role being the link between their union and their work place.
As unions we have to make sure that women are being treated equally as their male colleagues. The ITF Dockers' Section launched a campaign in 2013: "THE CHANGING FACE OF DOCKERS - MEN AND WOMEN WORKING TOGETHER" to promote equality!

The changing face of dockers

Monique thank you for getting involved in the online debate. As the dockers representative on the ITF women's committee you have been instrumental in supporting at the ITF the dockers' section and women's section work together to try and promote dock work to women and make sure that they have an appropriate environment to work in.

Most recently a poster's been produced, which will be on display and available to order in language versions during the conference, which highlights exactly what Monique is talking about here: "THE CHANGING FACE OF DOCKERS - MEN AND WOMEN WORKING TOGETHER" look out for it at the conference or go to the itf women's pages to download it: This is the kind of resource begin produced as part of the campaign mentioned above to try and even the playing field in a traditionally male dominated workforce on the docks worldwide.