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ITF congress launches tomorrow in Mexico
Wednesday 04 August 2010
The world congress of the ITF begins tomorrow in Mexico City. Running from 5 to 12 August, it will be the largest ever and the first to be held in Latin America.
Some 1376 participants from 368 trade unions in 112 countries are expected to attend the event, which sets ITF (International Transport Workers Federation) policy for the next four years and elects its president, vice-presidents, general secretary and executive board.
A press conference will be held at the congress venue, the Hilton Mexico City Reforma Hotel & Convention Centre (http://mexicocityreforma.hilton.com), on 5 August at 13:30, and journalists are also welcome to attend the opening ceremony at 10:00, to which Armando Quintero Martinez, Transport Secretary, Mexico City; Benito Miron Lince, Labour Secretary, Mexico City; and Marcelo Ebrard Causabon, Governor of Mexico City, have been invited. (For all those unable to attend in person there is a full online press resource: seewww.itfcongress2010.org/press.cfm)
ITF General Secretary David Cockroft commented: This is the forty-second ITF congress and the largest in our 114 year history. For us it is a vital event that brings transport workers and their representatives together from all over the world and lets them decide how, why and where we will campaign together to improve conditions, working lives and freedoms in the next four years.
He continued: This congress will debate issues that affect transport workers and the wider public. Everything from union relations in Mexico itself and the Gulf of Mexico, to how to fight the effects of the global financial crisis on jobs and working conditions while building strong unions and tackling the issues of transport and climate change.

Cockroft concluded: Every congress has a theme, and this ones is Strong Unions Sustainable Transport, a pledge that will run through everything we do at this event, which also gives us a chance to back our members fight for trade unions rights in Mexico, as part of which we will be actively lobbying the government here.

The congress is preceded by two special one day conferences: a youth conference that will recommend changes to the ITF constitution to recognise the importance of unions organising young workers; and a conference on trade unions, transport and climate change (see:www.itfglobal.org/press-area/index.cfm/pressdetail/4808).

There will also be a special session on the fight for quality public services including public transport which will be addressed by the General Secretary of the sister Global Union, Public Services International. During the congress period delegates will also be getting the chance to judge and experience new developments such as the ITFs commitment to the Year of the Seafarer 2010 and the fight against piracy (seewww.endpiracypetition.org); campaigns for safe rail and road; the launch of a good practice guide on HIV/Aids; a new focus for the ITFs flag of convenience campaign; a planned website for cabin crew; Dockers Port Intelligence, the latest tool in the campaign against ports of convenience; and issues affecting transport workers on land, at sea and in the air.

The progress of congress can be followed online, using the dedicated web press area atwww.itfcongress2010.org/press.cfmwhere you can find free downloadable photos, press releases, the history of ITF congresses, speaker biographies and more. A constantly updated general guide to the congress, how it works and its daily progress can be found atwww.itfcongress2010.org.

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