Sustainable mobility: workers must be involved
For the third year running, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is a partner in European Mobility Week 2006.
"It makes real sense to involve European unions," stressed ETUC General Secretary John Monks. "Workers are exposed on a daily basis to the consequences of poor transport management: there are costs in terms of time, money, accidents, stress, and problems balancing private and working life, not to mention pollution and global warming." In addition, some people miss out on employment for lack of mobility.
If we are to improve day-to-day mobility, modes of transport that provide a real alternative to the car need to be developed. This means adopting ambitious policies for investment in public transport as well as infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, together with appropriate financial incentives. John Monks deplored the fact that "far too many areas of economic activity are poorly served by public transport, if any is available at all. Consequently, workers have no option but to travel by car.”
Trade unionists can take very specific action by calling on companies to draw up mobility plans and by negotiating collective agreements with employers that include a section on mobility. "The rise in oil prices is pushing us in this direction,” said John Monks. "However, rather than imposing solutions, companies must understand that measures will work better if employees are involved. Innovative agreements on telework, the geographical mobility of workers and the reimbursement of public transport tickets are being signed across Europe and need to be developed further.” All EU Member States must enact legislation requiring companies to draft mobility plans and involve workers in this process.
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