23 September 2014 – Global union federation the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) today asked New York City Council members to support the City’s horse drawn carriage trade.
In a letter to the council members, ITF general secretary Steve Cotton wrote:
‘On behalf of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) , I would like to add our organisation’s voice to those of the members of Teamsters Joint Council 16 and Teamsters Local 553 – and all those who support the continuation of New York’s horse drawn carriage industry.
The ITF would like to commend the sentiments expressed in the letter of March 7th from the members of the New York City Central Labour Council. Like them, we consider this industry to be a vibrant, well-established asset to the City of New York, and can see no meaningful reason to deprive the workers involved in it of their jobs, deprive visitors of the pleasure it generates, or deprive New York of one of its landmark sights.
The men and women who work with these animals do so with pride. Horse drawn carriages are part of the tourism or transportation infrastructure of many countries. The carriages of Central Park are part of what makes New York a global capital.
We have no doubt that you have examined the case for and against the continuation of this important industry, and feel confident that you will support those who work in it and the best interests of the City that it serves.’
The ITF-affiliated union Unite also plans to raise the issue with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio when he attends the Labour Party conference in Manchester, England, this week.