ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

276th Session
Geneva, November 1999

Committee on Sectoral and Technical Meetings and Related Issues



Report of the Symposium on the Social and Labour
Consequences of Technological Developments,
Deregulation and Privatization of Transport
(Geneva, 20-24 September 1999)

1. The tripartite Symposium on the Social and Labour Consequences of Technological Developments, Deregulation and Privatization of Transport (civil aviation, railways and road transport) was held in Geneva from 20 to 24 September 1999. It was chaired by Mr. L. Kettledas (Government, South Africa).

2. The Symposium had before it a background document on the subject prepared by the International Labour Office(1)  and four discussion papers prepared by the lead speakers for the Symposium.(2)  Other presentations, including by the Office, were also made.

3. The Symposium unanimously adopted conclusions on future activities of the ILO in the transport sector (air, rail and road). The text of the conclusions is appended.(3) 

4. A report on the Symposium, including a summary of the discussions, the conclusions and a list of participants will be prepared by the Office and submitted to the Governing Body at its 277th Session (March 2000).

5. The Symposium was attended by 15 Government delegates, 21 Employers' delegates, and 22 Workers' delegates. A total of 27 observers from member States and from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations also attended. Some 20 per cent of the participants were women.

Geneva, 11 October 1999.

1. Symposium on the Social and Labour Consequences of Technological Developments, Deregulation and Privatization of Transport, SDPT/1999.

2. SDPT/1999/DP/1; SDPT/1999/DP/2; SDPT/1999/DP/3; SDPT/1999/DP/4.

3. SDPT/1999/D.6(Rev.), appended.


Conclusions on future activities of the ILO
transport sector, i.e. air, rail and road

submitted by the Working Party on Conclusions

The Symposium on the Social and Labour Consequences of Technological Developments, Deregulation and Privatization of Transport,

Having met in Geneva from 20 to 24 September 1999,

Adopts this twenty-fourth day of September 1999 the following conclusions:

The ILO should:

(1) ensure that its work in the transport sector is undertaken in accordance with its four strategic objectives and their related InFocus programmes -- promote and realize fundamental principles and rights at work; create greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment; enhance coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all; strengthen tripartism and social dialogue -- and its two cross-cutting themes -- development and gender. Particular emphasis should be placed on activities related to social dialogue in the transport sector;

(2) hold meetings dealing with the transport sector which should be more focused, dealing either with the transport sector as a whole, or subsector by subsector, depending on the issues to be discussed;

(3) promote social dialogue in the transport sector; strengthen the institutions, machinery and processes of social dialogue in the transport sector in the ILO's member States; and strengthen the representation, capacity and services of the parties to social dialogue in the transport sector. Such activity should take place at the regional and national level where appropriate;

(4) carry out studies on the impact of change on the industrial relations systems and practices in the transport sector, with particular reference to developing countries, and publish the results;

(5) collect and compare examples of evolution and change in the transport sector and describe whether and to what extent social, labour, economic development, environment and productivity improvement factors have been taken into account with a view to identifying and disseminating examples of successful practices and programmes, including an analysis of the employment effects, training, retraining and the impact on fundamental rights at work with the objective of, to the extent possible, promoting employment, productivity and improved working conditions and publish the results;

(6) collect, analyse and disseminate data and information on measures relating to new working methods in the different branches of the transport sector, such as flexible, temporary, part-time and contract work, and on any occupational safety and health and environmental effects arising from them and measures taken to address these effects;

(7) expand and enhance its cooperation and collaboration with multilateral financial institutions, and with relevant transportation safety agencies and organizations so that, in developing and undertaking their transport-related activities, including the development of policies and standards, the social and labour dimensions of transport are taken fully into account, including the importance of tripartite consultations and continuous social dialogue;

(8) noting its standard-setting activity, revise, with a view to improving and modernizing, those standards affecting the transport sector that are considered to be obsolete;

(9) assist ILO member States to meet their obligations under the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up with a view to having a positive impact on social and labour conditions in the transport sector;

(10) devote available resources that will ensure its activities, in assisting its constituents in dealing with the social and labour effects of change in the transport sector, are undertaken in a sufficient and sustained manner;

(11) establish a small standing tripartite strategy forum to oversee its activities in the transport sector;

(12) pay specific attention to the impact of change on women transport workers;

(13) in conjunction with UNAIDS, develop initiatives to promote best practice in the workplace dimension of HIV/AIDS prevention and protection policies, with particular reference to regions with a high incidence of the disease;

(14) undertake studies of the medium- and long-term positive or negative impact of changes in the transport sector, including:

(15) position itself as the international centre for expertise and data of interest to the constituents for research into the broad range of labour market issues and policies relating to the transport sector.

When reviewing the delivery of the ILO's sector-specific programmes, the Governing Body should examine how the needs of the transport sector can best be met and make recommendations accordingly.

Updated by VC. Approved by NdW. Last update: 26 January 2000.