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The ATU hits the ground in Paris, France, to meet with workers and multinational employers.

Today and yesterday, International President John Costa, International Executive Vice President Yvette Trujillo, and ATU’s Director of Joint Industry Councils and Collective Bargaining John Lyons were on the ground in Paris, France, along with ITF’s Alana Dave to meet with workers and multinational employers that our members work for across the U.S. and Canada.
The first stop was meeting with our sisters and brothers at The General Confederation of Labour (Confédération Générale du Travail - CGT), a national trade union center founded in 1895, the first of the five major French confederations of trade unions with the second largest memberships in France. The group met with CGT Director David Gobé and staff, and other French unionists, to hear about the history of the CGT and the French trade union landscape today, including politics in France, and to compare and strategize around ATU and CGT’s shared struggle with multinational employers.
“I’ve visited your country before, and the solidarity here is strong,” said Costa. “It’s a testament to the tradition of French people standing together in the face of adversity. Many of our battles are the same. France is at the center of the multinational employers we deal with in North America, and I’m honored to be here today on behalf of our members to learn from each other.” Costa, Trujillo, and Lyons shared the fights and victories we’ve had in North America and extended their unconditional support to the trade unionists.
The following day, the group had important meetings with Transdev, one of ATU’s largest employers, and Keolis, both based in France. At the meetings, Costa held nothing back and directly addressed the matters most important to our members. “Union density is growing, and our members aren’t afraid to go on strike,” Costa told the employers. “We’re here to make sure that our members are treated with respect. I’m willing to work with you, but it has to go both ways.” By meeting with these multinational transportation companies, Costa and the delegation were able to put our members' issues and concerns in the U.S. and Canada at the forefront. Both meetings were very productive with each side agreeing to continue meeting to ensure that workers voices are heard.
The group was also able to tour the RATP Control Centre (TBC), where they learned the history of the Paris Metro, including its infrastructure and the modernization of the automated Metro Line 1, Paris’ oldest line, recognizing the social implications that come with automation. The group also talked about the union agreements the Metro has, new career prospects for drivers, and safety on the line. Paris Metro rail averages over 5 million passengers per day and is at 93% capacity post-pandemic.
It was an amazing trip witnessing the transit systems in the UK and France and what other countries are doing to advance transit workers' rights. Under the leadership of President Costa, the ATU is proud of the work we’re doing to foster international solidarity and develop strategic knowledge to enhance the lives of our members. With growing inequality, unions provide hope and a pathway to a better future for all. When we organize globally, we become the necessary counterpoint to multinational corporations. Witnessing the amazing work being done by our partners in the UK and France left us inspired to continue and expand the work of our international union. Thank you to the ITF and CGT for hosting us for this very important and powerful trip.