News from Tourism Concern
Tourism Concern teams up with IUF
Posted: Jul 4, 2012
By Massimo Frattini - Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Coordinator at IUF
"It has been very fruitful." This was the comment after the meeting held in June between Tourism Concern and IUF in London. This meeting followed some less formal contact between Tourism Concern and IUF's general secretary, Ron Oswald, and the participation of IUF's Peter Rossman at Tourism Concern's roundtable meeting, Frameworks for Change – The Tourism Industry and Human Rights, in May this year.
About the IUF
IUF stands for "International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association". It is an international federation of trade unions representing workers employed in agriculture and plantations, the preparation and manufacture of food and beverages, tobacco processing, restaurants, catering services, and of course, in hotels.
The IUF was established in 1920 and is composed of 336 trade unions in 120 countries, representing over 10 million workers. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the IUF exists to strengthen its member unions through mutual support. It assists affiliates in organising members and in conflicts with employers; in coordinating and implementing solidarity and support actions; promoting women's equality in the workplace, society, and in the trade union movement; and by producing research and publications.
For the IUF, the active defence of trade union, human and democratic rights is not an adjunct to our industrial work, but an essential part of our ongoing activity. For the trade union movement, defending these rights is a fundamental class issue for the simple reason that workers cannot organise indefence of their interests, nor maintain the gains they have achieved, in an anti-democratic environment. The IUF gives support to movements everywhere struggling against oppression and is committed to building alliances with human rights, environmental, consumer and other organizations in civil society who share our objectives.
IUF and tourism
As with all other sectors, workers in tourism are affected by globalization - the process being driven by transnational companies which increasingly dominate investments and set the international social and political agenda. Precarious work, outsourcing of core hotel employees, corporate withdrawal of responsibility for employers, and sustainable tourism, are key issues for the IUF in the tourism sector. They are stated clearly in our "Organize, Fight and Win" 2012-2017 Congress Mandate.
The first International Framework Agreement was signed with Accor, one of the world's major hotel chains, in 1995. This aims to assure the "faithful application ... of ILO Conventions 87, 98 and 135", which pertain respectively to:
- The right of employees to affiliate to the union of their choice
- The protection of employees against all acts of discrimination that tend to violate freedom of association
- The protection of employees representatives against any measure of harm ...motivated by their status.
This Agreement has helped some IUF members to bargain for better working conditions for their affiliates. Our goal is to sign more agreements like this, which will help to guarantee tourism workers' their fundamental rights to organise, bargain, and to freely join a union. It will also support local unions to spread and increase their membership by:
- Bargaining on working conditions, pay rise, health and safety related issues
- Reducing precarious work and securing jobs
- Tackling the outsourcing of core employees
All-inclusive collaboration with Tourism Concern
In the tourism sector there are also other broader issues that may impact entire communities and not just workers. 'All-inclusive holidays' is one of these issues. The implications for employees and local businesses, questions about sustainability, and the ethics of the all-inclusive model of tourism are serious, and require further research. To this end, Tourism Concern and IUF are now developing a research project into the impacts of all-inclusives, to be conducted in various tourism destination countries. The results will be shared among all members and stakeholders.
At the IUF secretariat, we hope to continue and develop this cooperation with Tourism Concern into the future, and to include other issues of the tourism sector.
Understand the issues
FREE Ethical Travel Guide
Connect with us
Should I visit an orphanage?
- May 1, 2013
Should I buy animal trinkets?
- May 1, 2013
Displacement of local people: a never ending problem
- Apr 5, 2013
Should I go shark cage diving?
- Apr 4, 2013
A big thank you from everyone at Tourism Concern!!
- Mar 27, 2013