In March 2023, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) released a report on “union-based initiatives to protect the mental health of young public transport workers”, along with a briefing paper in nine languages and the announcement of an online train-the-trainers course directed to participants with responsibilities for youth and/or occupational safety and health issues within their unions.
The report shows the experiences during the COVID shutdown of young public transport workers in seven countries (Canada, Colombia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Spain, Uganda and the United States), and the impact these experiences had on their emotional and mental health. It also highlights the actions for containment, support and negotiation that their unions implemented, and includes a scoping review of 30 years of scientific literature of relevance to the topic, plus selected case studies for each country.
OHCOW led the Canadian component, focused on B.C. and Ontario, with support from the University of British Columbia (UBC). The research responded to the ITF initiative, in pursuit of one of its key issues (health and safety) and the need to reinforce the unions’ approach, ranging from individual worker experience to the responsibility of governments and employers to ensure safe and healthy working environments.