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International transport workers federation

The ITF is founded on respect for human and


trade union rights.
ITF claims these rights are regularly violated and
as a defender of these rights it finds itself in
conflict with employers and governments.
Its campaign against the flags of convenience is
the most visible part of that conflict.
Behind that conflict there is a steady programme
of work promoting the solidarity between workers
in the transport industry and supporting workers
in an uneven fight is the worst kind of employers.
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International transport workers federation


ITF is an independent organization whose
members are organizations with trade
union members in the transport industry.
The condition of membership is that
democratic principles must be a upheld
and be free of outside control and
interference.

International transport workers federation


ITF brings together the trade unions with
transport workers from most of the free
economies of the world.
The ends of the ITF are based on the U.N.
declaration of human rights and the rights
of freedom of association laid down in the
International Labour Organization (ILO)
convention.
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International transport workers federation


ITFs aim is set out in the constitution as follows:
To promote respect for trade unions and human rights
worldwide
To work for peace based on social justice and
economic progress
To help its affiliated unions to defend the interests of
their members
To provide research and information services to its
affiliates
To provide general assistance to transport workers in
difficulty
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International transport workers federation


An executive board meets twice a year
and is backed up by management
subcommittee for day-to-day
administrative matters with a fulltime
general secretary being elected at each
Congress.

International transport workers federation


The basic precept of the international transport
workers federation is that, to be effective,
UNIONS must support each other.
Transport being international and the very nature
of the industry make it particularly whether a
built-up pressure from employers and
governments.
The ITF brings together all workers enrolled in
transport to provide strength and solidarity - - fishermen, truck drivers, airline pilots, doctors,
rail them and seamen can support each other
within the ITF.
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International transport workers federation


The federation was first set up in 1896 as
a group of European and U.S. trade
unionists.
Later it became the ITF.
Until the end of the second world war it
remained European dominated but since
then has increased its influence in
developing countries in particular.
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International transport workers federation


The ITF as an active information section
publishing regular seafearers bulletins and
monthly news and a series of study
bulletins on labour related matters.

International transport workers federation


The best known work is its campaign
against the flags of convenience.
The campaign is always jointly by the
seafarers and other affiliates with two
main objectives.
The first being to establish a link between
the flag of the ship and the domicile of the
owners, managers and seafarers.
The second is to protect seafarers on flag
of convenience ships from exploitation.
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International transport workers federation


The practical symbol of this campaign is
that more than 2,500 flag of convenience
ships now sail with ITF Blue certificates.
The certificates are issued by the
federation to the ship owners who signed
an agreement on an employment contract
with the crew which the ITF or its affiliates
consider acceptable.

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International transport workers federation


Ships without the blue certificate may find
themselves subject to industrial action in
the ports with the ITF inspectors regularly
visit ships to check on conditions of
employment..
Besides ITF now has a membership of
more than 400 trade unions from about
100 different countries and claims to
represent more than four million transport
workers.
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International transport workers federation


Presently, the point of concern is the
development of second registers which
the ITF sees as an attempt by the
employers to enjoy the exploitative
benefits of the flag of convenience without
the attached a stigma.
ITF may not be popular with some ship
owners
It has achieved some success in control of
the worst abuses of labour.
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International transport workers federation


Universal support from shore based transport
unions makes it very simple for them to blacklist
in a ship where they are in dispute.
This started in 1950 after the Stuttgart Congress,
wherein ITF adopted a plan of action which InPrinciple required oil owners to adhere to certain
defined minimum conditions.
Failure in action would result in boycott bringing
the owner to the negotiating table.
Such a ship will remain immobilized due to lack
of tugs, unopened lock gates, etc until the ITF
demands are met.
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International transport workers federation


In later years the idea of some motive has been
called into question in some quarters.
The weakness which seems almost inevitable
with any well meaning political body is that
sooner or later hypocrisy or extremism start to
appear.
The impression one gets is that they seem to
believe that by forcing all ship-owners to pay at
or above certain scale, the chances of more
work for seamen in the developed world will be
improved.
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International transport workers federation


As an example, their target may be men
from the Philippines, who may well be
enjoying the rate of pay fully comparable
with what theyll be getting in their own
country.
Perhaps, in truth, they want to make a
Filipino crew an unattractive proposition in
the belief that owners would turn back to
recruiting crews from their own countries.
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International transport workers federation


Again, the ITF were quick to blacklist a
free flag ship owned by a highly respected
private Japanese line which provided good
conditions for its crew but refused to make
contributions of about 230 dollars per crew
member per year into the ITF coffers.

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International transport workers federation


Were their efforts always specifically
directed at real rust buckets the world
would love them.
They lose some of their credibility however
when the appear to go for large, properly
run ships, with foreign crews, because
these are owned by the companies with
enough money to pay the levees that the
ITF imposes upon them.
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International transport workers federation


The ITF should, however, never be
underrated;
Their fund raising from affected ships now
provides ITF permanent inspectors in
many major ports and their intelligence
network is first class.

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