Woman in rail agreement signing (Photo: Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion)

EUROPE: A binding deal aimed at promoting the employment of more women in the rail sector came into force on November 5, when it was formally signed by the Community of European Railway & Infrastructure Companies representing employers and the European Transport Workers’ Federation representing staff.

The agreement aims to attract more women to the rail sector and guarantee equal treatment in the workplace. Measures cover reconciling work and private life, promotion and career development, equal pay, health and safety, work environments and the prevention of sexual harassment and sexism.

After more than three years of negotiations, the agreement was adopted by CER’s General Assembly on September 20 and by ETF’s Railway Section on October 27.

Companies now have 12 months to establish a gender and diversity policy, and 24 months to implement it. The agreement will then be reassessed by both parties.

CER represents more than 70 railway undertakings, national associations, infrastructure managers and leasing companies, covering 73% of the rail network length, 76% of the rail freight business and about 92% of rail passenger operations in EU, EFTA and EU accession countries.

ETF encompasses more than 200 trade unions in the land, sea and air transport sectors which together represent more than 5 million workers from 40 European countries.