The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Statement on the “OCCUPY” Movement

Meeting of the ITF Executive Board,  Washington, 20-21 October 2011


1. The ITF Executive Board notes that:

a. In many parts of the world, governments are pursuing measures that will shift the economic and social burden of the economic crisis further onto the shoulders of working people,

b. These measures not only structurally reinforce the power of business and finance over workers’ lives for years to come, they also involve initiatives that reduce or eliminate long-held labour and democratic rights including collective bargaining and the right to strike,

c. Transport workers alongside other workers, face demands for wage cuts, austerity, reductions in social security protection, and suffer from the impacts of free trade agreements and attacks on trade unions.

2. The ITF Executive Board believes that:

a. Such policies will weaken economic recovery, not strengthen it, polarising income distribution and economic opportunity, weakening aggregate demand and reducing spending conditions. Yet governments around the world charge ahead, supported energetically by business lobbyists, conservative think tanks, and wealthy financial interests,

b. This crisis was the result of deregulated capitalism and was not caused by governments, trade unions, taxes or social programmes.

c. An alternative economic and social agenda via a mobilisation of union members and our allies to push back the political offensive of business is vital at this time.

3. The Board further notes that:

a. In October, the Occupy movement that started on Wall Street in New York, went global. Over 1000 cities around the world hosted commoncause protests, rallies, and occupations. Trade unions in most locations have provided moral and logistical support.

b. That from the outset, the labour movement has contributed important support and momentum to the Occupy movement; for example, on September 28 over 700 members of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)

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