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ITF world congress launches tomorrow

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The ITF HQ's in London

The ITF HQ’s in London

9 August 2014 – The largest ever world congress of the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) begins tomorrow in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Taking place in Sofia’s National Palace of Culture, the event will bring together almost 2000 people, including staff and participants from 379 trade unions in 116 countries, and is the 43rd world congress in the ITF’s 118 year history. It is the organisation’s supreme decision making event, at which its affiliated trade unions set the agenda for the next four years, and elect its executive board, president, vice presidents and general secretary.

It is also the first paper-free and fully digital ITF congress, so that even those unions that can’t attend can participate in nine languages via the interactive website at www.itfcongress2014.org.

ITF president Paddy Crumlin explained: “Congress is an integral part of the ITF and the tool that ensures it is fully democratic and accountable. It brings together representatives of the workers who keep the world’s transport systems moving and society functioning and fed. It gives them a voice and the mandate to decide how we will struggle, build and campaign together for the next four years and beyond.”

ITF acting general secretary Steve Cotton added: “The theme of this congress is From global crisis to global justice: transport workers fighting back. This is the place where unions challenge the austerity model, take on the worst employers, and show how equitable and sustainable transport, free from injustice and inequality, is better for everyone.

Congress 2014 is being hosted by the ITF’s affiliated Bulgarian unions, with special support from the Federation of Transport Trade Unions of Bulgaria (FTTUB), whose president, Ekaterina Yordanova, commented: “It is with huge pleasure that we welcome our comrades from around the world. We are proud to be equal members of a multinational union federation where rich and poor, large and small, have equal rights and share the same values. Our youth, who are our promise for the future, have been preparing for months to participate, vote and welcome our visitors.”

She continued: “We know the power of being a member a member of the ITF and we want to share it with all transport workers in this region. We believe that regional co-operation will give more strength to cross-border initiatives and also more opportunities for global campaigning – because we are convinced that in a globalising world the challenges ahead can only be overcome through a global union response.”

A video message from Ekaterina Yordanova welcoming delegates to the event can be seen at http://bit.ly/XwVegC

News about congress is available at www.itfcongress2014.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ITFglobal and Twitter at https://twitter.com/itfglobalunion (hashtag is #ITFcongress2014).

About the ITF

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is a global organisation representing over 4.5 million transport workers in some 700 trade unions in over 150 countries worldwide. For more details see www.itfglobal.org/about-us/index.cfm

itf sofia 2014About the ITF congress

Congress is the ITF’s supreme decision making event, at which its affiliated trade unions are able to decide the course the organisation will take for the next four years. It elects the ITF’s executive board, president, vice presidents and general secretary. To learn more visit www.itfglobal.org/about-us/congress.cfm

ITF congress website

The ITF congress has its own dedicated website at www.itfcongress2014.org – with everything from live reporting to film, photos and documents.

Press registration

Press wishing to attend are encouraged to register in advance at  www.itfcongress2014.org/registration ; places are limited and it may not be possible to turn up and secure one in Sofia

Film and photos

Photos for press use can be downloaded from www.itfcongress2014.org/film-images. They are provided free of charge. A credit is not required

Press contact

The press contact up to 10 August is Sam Dawson, then during congress itself it will be Darrin Barnett. Email:darrin.barnett@mua.org.au

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