Bulgarian Women Transport Workers Organise

Daniela Zlatova of Bulgarian transport trade union FTTUB gave an impressive account of the union’s efforts and achievements in involving women.


  • has 10,500 members
  • includes 86 trade union bodies in transport and telecoms
  • has 9 women out of 17 members (53%) of its management committee (national executive)
  • has 27 women out of 59 members (46%) of its federal council
  • is active in national, European and global union federations
  • is the most active sectoral trade union federation in Bulgaria

FTTUB’s gender equality plan consists of:

  • attracting women workers to trade unions
  • achieving better women’s representation in union decision-making bodies and in collective bargaining
  • promoting equal access to jobs, trianing and careers – including quotas for women in areas where men predominate
  • raising awareness of EU law and policy on gender equality
  • strengthening the role of he FTTUB’s women’s committee
  • organising training, seminars and other events to further these aims

The union organisese events on three major days each year:

FTTUB has signed an agreement with the Mayor of Sofia on joint actions for the prevention of work-related harassment and violence towards women workers, including:

  • a survey, with results leading to recommendations
  • self-defence training for women drivers in urban transport – this was “hugely well-attended”, and women drivers report a postive impact on their confidence, which prevents as well as responds to violence

The union has also signed an agreement with the Mayor to attract and retain women in urban public transport, includingh policies, career development, qualifications, work-life balance, heatlh and safety, and reducing the gender pay gap.

FTTUB has prioritised campaigning against violence against women since 2007, including:

  • supporting the campaing for an ILO Convention on Work-related Violence against women, enlisting support from prominent politicians, and stickering vehicles, lampposts etc
  • promoting working conditions that minimise stress
  • providing training, particularly focusing on urban public transport
  • producing posters against violence, using drawings by union members’ children

The union has also:

Perhaps every union could put together a presentation that makes its work on women’s equality look impressive. But my experience with the FTTUB women, and the leading role they play both in their own union and in the ETF, convinces me that these achievements are significant and genuine. I don’t think many unions could give such a good impression, and I think that we have a lot to learn from our Bulgarian sisters.

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