The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and its member unions from the civil aviation sector will be upholding safety and decent working conditions at a crucial International Labour Organisation (ILO) meeting opening in Geneva today. The three day event – known as a global dialogue forum (GDF) – has been called to tackle the effects of the global economic crisis on the industry, and is the first to be held in ten years. ITF civil aviation section secretary Gabriel Mocho explained: “The GDF brings together trade unions, employers’ organisations and governments. Its aim is not just to examine how the crisis is affecting civil aviation and the effects of the low cost carrier model, but also to agree on how to build a more sustainable industry. We, as unions, are deeply committed to doing this.”He continued: “Aviation workers have been the first to suffer when costs are cut. That means not just human suffering but also the loss of the expertise that is needed to help this industry go forward. This event will give us a real opportunity to reverse those negative trends and build an industry with a future.”Representatives of 33 ITF member unions from 27 countries are attending the forum, which will address topics including: legacy airlines, low-cost carriers, air traffic control, airports, auxiliary services, and airplane manufacturing, maintenance and revision. In the run-up to the event the ITF has liaised with its member unions, other global union federations and professional associations.