Representatives from a wide range of international and regional organisations, including three ITF unions, have met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss the impact of Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) on transport workers.
The Institute for Development Studies, the Kenya Transport Researchers‘ Network, the Global Labour Institute, the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, the World Bank and the EU all attended the event on 28 March 2018.
Activists from the Transport and Allied Workers’ Union Kenya (TAWU), the Public Transport Operators’ Union (PUTON), Matatu Workers’ Union (MWU) as well as the Central Organisation of Trade Unions of Kenya (Cotu) were also there voicing the concerns of workers regarding BRT.
BRT is in the process of being developed in Nairobi on five dedicated lines. In line with the ITF Our Public Transport programme, the ITF is working with its three transport unions, with the aim of including them as key stake holders in the implementation of BRT.
While BRT will offer safe, affordable and environmentally friendly transport, there are concerns around its impact on informal transport workers, such as the displacement or loss of labour.
The preliminary report by the Global Labour Institute, commissioned by the ITF, highlights the impact and implications related to the introduction of BRT in Nairobi, as well as good practice examples from other countries in engagement and inclusion of workers and their unions.
“We support our unions in campaigning for a seat at the table with decision-makers about the implementation of BRT, especially with the potential impact on the informal workforce. This is part of the ITF Our Public Transport programme that aims to promote quality public transport including decent jobs, a just transition for informal workers, strong union representation and improved access to affordable mobility”, said ITF Africa deputy regional secretary Anna Karume.
Nicholas Mbugua, general secretary of the Kenyan truckers’ union and representative of Cotu said that transport unions were already out engaging with workers on BRT and want to be involved in decision-making in order to create a successful BRT system in Nairobi.
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