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The future of mobility – options in the public space

19 May, 2022Mobility concepts of the future in an urban environment will be different from what we know today. There will be more shared services, less individual mobility, digital connectivity between people, vehicles and infrastructure, as well as driverless vehicles.

Together with the International Transportworkers Federation (ITF), UNI Global Union and German FES, IndustriALL presented a study on who the key players in future mobility markets are, what changes we can expect and what will be the impact on labour and unions during a webinar on 17 May. The results were discussed by the more than 100 participants from over 40 countries.

The researchers presented a near future where change is driven by digitalization and where the new generation of consumers seem to walk away from cars as a primary mobility device. The existing transportation systems with cars at the centre are not fit for the future.

Instead, the future of mobility lies in the digital networking of different means of transport in the public space, where use is more important than ownership. 

Gender equality is an important aspect when preparing for the future.

“Urban transport planning is currently being designed by men for men,”

says Claire Clarke from the ITF.

She explained how mobility plays a particularly important role in women’s lives taking children to school, going to work, accessing public services, wich is why the demand for gender neutrality is key.

Jobs in public transport are also highly gendered. Less then 15 per cent of the global workforce in public transport are women, and they are over-represented in lower paid and precarious work. Men are often the drivers, while women are the ticket-sellers. There is a lack of maternity rights, health and safety and women often suffer violence and harassment from colleagues and passengers.

The study shows that many new jobs will be created and that these will make up for the number of jobs being lost. However, new and different skills will be required in the future. This leads to the key question: How do we re- and up-skill the women who lost her job to an automatic ticket machine?

“We know that future mobility concepts will mean a huge change for workers, and we need to be clear in our demand for a Just Transition. We need comprehensive training programmes to ensure that the workers of today are the workers of tomorrow,”

says Georg Leutert, IndustriALL auto director.

“As unions, we need to make sure that we stand side by side with the workers in transition and – at the same time – we need tailor-made offers for the new workers in the sector so that they immediately understand that their future will look far brighter if they join a union and bargain collectively."