The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is releasing a new tool for unions fighting the negative effects of HIV/AIDS in the world’s ports today.
To be officially launched at the ITF dockers’ section conference in Chicago, USA, the publication, ‘HIV/AIDS and port workers - A resource pack for unions’ is available on request and for immediate download from the ITF Global website.
Containing practical guidance designed to benefit port workers, their families and communities, the publication is a direct result of a survey undertaken among docker trade unions that revealed the extent to which this sector is affected by HIV/AIDS, and the eagerness of trade unions to tackle it and the stigma associated with it.
In his introduction to the report, ITF president and dockers’ section chair Paddy Crumlin states that the ITF is an organisation representing the best interests of transport workers around the world, adding that it would be impossible to fulfil that role without addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS.
He also says that their approach to dealing with this disease must be unifying for transport workers across all sectors and also take into account the unique elements of each workforce. Fighting the stigma, putting the dignity of transport workers living and working with HIV/AIDS at the forefront, and not try a one-size-fits-all approach are some of the objectives.
Dr Asif Altaf, ITF HIV/AIDS coordinator explains that ports are transport hubs that bring together a complex mix of nationalities and service providers in multiple interactions. More likely to have a predominantly male workforce, in some places with a disposable income higher than that of many in the surrounding area, ports cannot escape the possible threat from HIV/AIDS.
According to Dr Altaf, the new publication is a tool to help unions fight against the negative effects of HIV/AIDS, and represents a source of information about the infection, and a further step in fighting its spread.
The release of ‘HIV/AIDS and port workers - A resource pack for unions’ follows the publication of a guide on HIV/AIDS for unions in civil aviation in November 2012.
The 82-page publication is also available in a hard copy version and includes the ILO (International Labour Organization) Toolkit for trade unions on HIV and AIDS on CD-ROM.