Inland Waterways Transport (IWT) is the least environmentally damaging mode of inland transport, offering a fuel efficient, low emission option to chronically overloaded road transport and railway networks which are slow to adapt to new demands. Geography determines that it has a local character tied to river systems and interconnecting canal networks, but nonetheless the European Commission has identified the potentials of the industry and their key role in a future transport policy.
Within the Nautilus Federation in Europe those unions with a connection to those systems, i.e. Nautilus International (NL), Nautilus International (CH), ACV-Transcom and the Seafarers Union of Croatia (SPH), work closely in a number of European projects aimed at securing improved living and working conditions and social provisions. These include the work of the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) on working and rest time regulation, social security coordination, European professional qualifications and manning requirements as well as lobby activity with the Rhine and Danube Commissions. They are also at the forefront of activities to dam the spread of social dumping both in the freight sector and the growing river cruise industry.
Port and coastal activities also fall in the remit of IWT and the unions are working together to advance the ITF’s policies in the tug and towage sector, a key segment of the maritime industry.”