ITF hub voices

Global unions building industrial power



Reporting back on #OurHubs success 

The ITF Executive Board has been hearing about latest developments in the industrial hubs programme.

Speaking about the newest hub to get off the ground in Belfast, programme lead Paula Hamilton spoke about using hubs like airports and ports to shape the future of employment and give organising opportunities that can’t be delivered without having a cross sectoral approach.

There are now eight hubs up and running in the UK and development is going on in Algeria in the Arab World region. The intention is to use the model to organise in Africa and Asia Pacific as well.

Steve Turner, assistant general secretary of Unite, the UK sponsor union of the project, reported back the success of the hubs programme in empowering workers to organise and break down the barriers that some employers have tried to create between groups of workers.


Le développement du hub d’Alger avance à grands pas

Le développement du premier hub industriel dans la région Monde arabe de l’ITF avance à grands pas, puisqu’une deuxième réunion du groupe stratégique s’est tenue hier à Alger.
Les quatre fédérations du pays qui représentent les travailleuses et travailleurs des ports, du rail, des transports, du pétrole, du gaz et de la chimie avaient participé à la réunion du mois dernier.
Les participant(e)s s’étaient prononcés sur le contenu des modules d’organisation et de négociation destinés aux futures formations des travailleuses et travailleurs du hub.
La priorité avait également été donnée aux moyens d’accroître le nombre de jeunes et de femmes à des fonctions décisionnelles du programme et de renforcer la collaboration avec d’autres syndicats développant des hubs dans le cadre du programme ITF/IndustriALL.
Le Secrétaire général de la fédération portuaire FNTPA, Lizhari Adjabi, a déclaré : « Dans le passé, nous avons réclamé plus de formation et développement professionnelle, et aujourd’hui, grâce à l’action du hub industriel, cette éducation se concrétise. Nous sommes vraiment engagés envers ce programme. »
Le Secrétaire général de la Fédération nationale des travailleurs du pétrole, du gaz et de l’énergie FNTPG, Tawahreia Hammo, a ajouté : « Il est très important de se concentrer sur l’action syndicale et le pouvoir syndical, car cela garantit la stabilité au travail et préserve les droits fondamentaux des travailleuses et travailleurs. »
Le groupe se réunira à nouveau en novembre pour un autre cycle de formation et pour planifier les prochaines étapes du hub.


تطور مشروع المحاور الصناعية في الجزائر يخطي خطوات جديدة

تطور أول محور صناعي في الـ ITF الاقليم العربي في تسارع بعد ان تم عقد الاجتماع الاستراتيجي الثاني في الجزائر.

لقد حضر هذا الاجتماع كل من الفدراليات الأربعة والذين يمثلون العمال في الموانئ والسكك الحديدية والنقل والنفط والغاز والكيمياء الشهر الماضي.

اطلع المشاركين على مضمون المواد التدريبية حول التنظيم والمفاوضات الجماعية والتي سوف يعتمدها العديد من القائمين على مشروع المحاور الصناعية للتدريب في المستقبل.

تم التركيز على طرق انخراط فئة الشباب والمرأة في أدوار قيادية في البرنامج، كما سلط الضوء على موضوع زيادة التشبيك مع النقابات الأخرى التي تقوم على تطوير المحاور الصناعية تحت مظلة برنامج الـITF / واتحاد الصناعات.

قال الأمين العام للفدرالية الوطنية لعمال الموانئ لزهاري عجابي “كنا في السابق متعطشين للتدريبات والتطوير اما الأن وبفضل العمل الذي يقوم به برنامج المحاور الصناعية فان التدريب يطبق بطريقة عملية ونحن ملتزمين بهذا البرنامج”.

وأضاف الأمين العام للفدرالية الوطنية لعمال البترول والغاز والكيمياء طواهرية حمو ” التركيز على العمل النقابي والقوة النقابية مهم جدا لضمان الاستقرار في مكان العمل وللحفاظ على الحقوق الأساسية للعمال”.

سوف يعقد الاجتماع القادم في شهر نوفمبر لمناقشة مواد تدريبية أخرى ولوضع خطة عمل لمشروع المحاور الصناعية.

Algiers hub development takes next steps

The development of the first industrial hub in the ITF Arab World region is moving fast with a second strategy group meeting held in Algiers.

The four federations in the country which represent workers in ports, general transport, railways, oil, gas and chemicals were at the meet last month.

Attendees were deciding on the content of organising and bargaining modules for more hub participants to use for their future training.

Focusing on ways to bring young workers and women into leadership roles in the programme and how to increase engagement with other unions developing hubs under the ITF/IndustriALL programme, were also high on the agenda.

General secretary of the port federation FNTPA Lizhari Adjabi said: “In the past we’ve wanted more training and development and now thanks to the industrial hub work we are seeing that education happen in practice.  We’re really committed to this programme”.

General secretary of the Oil, Gas, and Chemicals Federation FNTPG Tawahreia Hammo added: “Focusing on union work and union power is very important as it guarantees stability in the work place and reserves the basic rights of the workers.”

The group will meet again in November for another round of training and to plan next steps for the hub.

Belfast gets the hubs’ treatment

Belfast, Northern Ireland is the latest location for Unite’s development of an industrial hub, encouraging links between workers at the harbour regardless of the job they do.

Belfast now joins Humberside, Grangemouth, Liverpool, Southampton and Teeside as a UK port where an International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)/IndustriALL sponsored hub is either up and running or in development.

“It sounds silly but this is a totally new way of thinking for us.” Said Belfast harbour shop steward Tom Davey. “We’re used to lorry drivers dealing with lorry drivers, dockers dealing with dockers, office staff dealing with office staff. We’ve always kept to our own industries and it’s only now that we’re realising how much power that could potentially cost us when it comes to our union negotiations and during industrial disputes.

Belfast harbor is a major maritime hub, handling about 25% of the maritime trade for the whole of Ireland. Workers at the harbor include road, rail, seafarers, dockers and office and administrative staff.

Paula Brennan works for the ITF on the Belfast project and is a member of Unite. She said: “What we’re seeing here is activists building links and sharing experiences that are going to put them in a good position to support one another when that’s needed. This organising model is about workers driving progress and meeting the challenges of employment by multinationals head on – together. And that includes support from retired members and the local community as well.”

The development of the first hub in Ireland –North or South – is of particular significance given the current government negotiations around Brexit. Unite is calling for a coordinated approach to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, that will offer opportunities to control trade, defend the interests of workers and put in place robust industrial strategy. These are all principles existing within the hubs programme too, which is essentially designed to build workers’ industrial power and influence through greater coordination and organising up and down supply chains.

Outside the UK and Ireland other international locations are also under development including in Algeria, Norway and Denmark.

Watch this space for more on what the Belfast hub can deliver for workers and follow the international programme on social media via #OurHubs

Industrial hubs need young workers to reach full potential

Young workers from Unite have pledged to get more involved in the ITF/IndustriALL industrial hubs programme.

The Unite youth conference in Eastbourne in May brought together under 27s from across the UK – the hubs programme was presented to participants as part of the agenda.

Those in the room were clear that cross-sectoral working is essential in transport and beyond. One participant said: “To not have young workers involved in this as much as they possibly can be just doesn’t make sense. We need to have a really strong and structured response to big companies who might want to take advantage of gaps between workers, young people are key to that.”

Unite has 134,000 young members in total across its 22 sectors and 10 regions.

Working in silos is enemy of progress!

The industrial hubs work programme has been showcased to European unions during the European Transport Workers’ Federation congress in Barcelona.

A programme of fringe events was organised throughout the three day congress to highlight affiliate-led work being done by unions across the region and beyond.

A key message of the get together was that employers are collaborating more and more and as a result unions and workers have to do the same in order to be in a strong position for negotiations and showing practical support and solidarity during disputes.

Get more on ETF congress via and follow #OurHubs for the latest hubs action.

Arab world conference told Algeria hub will be example for the region

“We want to be an example to other unions in other Arab countries, that they too can build coalitions and in doing that, grow union power.”

That was the message from the panel of Algerian trade union leaders speaking to the Arab World regional conference about the ITF industrial hubs programme.

Representatives from maritime, road transport and oil and petrol, make up the coalition which was formed in 2016. The three unions are working together to form industrial hubs based around ports in Algeria – making connections between workers from the different sectors so they can support each other in responding to employers and dealing with disputes, negotiations, organising and collective bargaining.

There are plans to develop the industrial hubs programme in other parts of the Arab World using Algeria as a template. Watch the film (in English and Arabic) to get the full story on developments of port hubs in the region:

The unions making up the coalition are Federation Nationale Travailleurs Ports Algériens, Fédération Nationale des Travailleurs des Transports, Federation Nationale des Travailleurs du Pétrole Gaz et Chimie.

Community is key for Liverpool industrial hub

The importance of involving the community and women workers in the development of an industrial hub in Liverpool, UK was a key outcome of the latest training for hub members in the city.

The group are in phase two of their hubs training, covering methods for workplace and supply chain mapping, communication techniques and next steps in growing the hub.

Hub members spoke about the need to get more women involved in the programme to make sure workers across all job types are represented. The value of support from the community, in the form of Unite the Union community members and the general public, was put in the spotlight.

A recent protest by workers at Peel Ports in Liverpool over the lack of canteen, toilet and union facilities available, was flagged up as an example of dockers and truck drivers supporting each other through the industrial hub. Get more on the Peel Ports dispute. 




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