Get Me Home Safely motion carried at ITF global union conference

Unite campaign for safe late-night transport for workers adopted by unions across globe

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Unite’s ground-breaking campaign for free and safe late-night transport to be provided to workers has been adopted as a policy at the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) conference, held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The ITF consists of 700 affiliated trade unions from 153 countries, representing more than 20 million working people across the world.

The motion noted that shift work is widespread in the transport sector and other industries and that many workers, especially women workers, are increasingly worried about their safety travelling to and from work at night.

As per the motion, the ITF will now work to campaign at all levels for employers to act to support safe transport home, including influencing multinational employers to adopt safe home policies in their procurement practices.

The ITF will now also work to negotiate for employers to recognise the commute as a workplace issue and to extend their duty of care to embed safe commute policies for all workers.

Unite research officer Irina Do Carmo, who forwarded the motion, said, “This campaign started because Unite recognised that too many workers, especially women workers in transport and hospitality, were facing an impossible choice when finishing work at night: Either spend their hard earned wages on expensive private transport or risk an unsafe journey on deserted public transport or by walking home in the dark.

“It is clear that is not just an issue limited to workers in the UK. So, it is fantastic that the ITF will now proactively support and promote the Get Me Home Safely campaign on a global scale, including the creation of sate spaces and reporting mechanisms within affiliated unions.”

Unite’s Get Me Home Safely in the UK campaign brings together hospitality and passenger transport members. As well as organising workers to win safe and free transport home from employers, Unite’s campaign seeks to encourage local authorities to make safe and free transport home for late night workers a requirement for new and extended alcohol licences.

By Ryan Fletcher