Transdev Ireland action on diversity and anti-racism receives interest at European level

BITCI News - Jun 29, 2015

There are 23 nationalities represented in Transdev Dublin and providing a safe and secure work environment to all of their employees is a top priority. Transdev has zero tolerance of racist abuse and work to protect and support both our customers and employees.

say no to racismIn 2010, Transdev started working closely with The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI), an independent human rights organisation and registered charity which advocates the rights of migrants and their families. As part of its anti-racism work, ICI provides a racist incidents support service to victims and witnesses.

The aims of the partnership are to assess the real level of racist abuse directed at Luas staff and passengers, to raise awareness of incidents of racism on public transport and to encourage individuals to report these incidents.

In 2012, the ICI and Transdev jointly conducted employee focus groups. One of the findings was the need for the company to invest in diversity training at all levels across the organisation. A training programme was rolled out to all commercial staff in 2013. This two-day training aimed to develop skills, knowledge and techniques to deal effectively with growing diversity in Ireland, specifically within a commercial transport context. Further to this, a diversity policy was developed for the company, setting a standard by which all staff should adhere to.

say no to racism _ 2Transdev also support ICI’s research and publications regarding racism in Ireland. Transdev decided in 2013 to go the extra mile and use the momentum of the European Week Against Racism to support a high profile publicity campaign across trams, buses, trains and taxis. It was called ‘Dublin’s Transport Links, Racism Divides’. The campaign saw all Dublin’s transport providers working together to tackle the social issue of racism. This campaign has further solidified the commitment of the company, in collaboration with the ICI, National Transport Authority, our client, the Railway Procurement Agency and other transport providers, to send a clear and unified message to users of public transport that racism will not be tolerated. The campaign was shortlisted as a finalist in the Chambers Ireland Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards 2013.

The campaign was rolled out again in 2014 and in 2015 was Ireland’s largest anti-racism campaign. This year it was launched across the public transport network on 22nd April with the support of the ICI, the NTA, Transdev and public transport providers. Over 2,000 posters and an extensive social media campaign are being used to get the message out that people should report incidents of racism wherever it occurs.

The ICI says it is an important opportunity to make people aware that they have nothing to fear in coming forward to report racism and to end complacency. The 2014 campaign led to a 51% increase in reports of racism.

The success of the campaign can be seen in the interest received from other European countries. In 2015, in Rome, Italy, a similar campaign was run, taking as their inspiration the Irish model. Prior to this, members from Rome visited Ireland and met with the ICI, Transdev and the other transport sector partners to inform the development of their own campaign.

Separately, staff from Transdev have spoken at ICI events on anti-racism and diversity in Ireland, the UK, Austria and Denmark. Transdev also showcase the exemplary Irish model through ICI organised webinars, Transdev’s own CSR communications initiatives and through other business networks, and in particular, the outlets provided by Business in the Community Ireland.

In June 2015, Transdev were asked by ICI to partner with them on an EU funding application that looks at the approach to anti-racism and diversity on an EU level and seeks to transfer innovation and learning across the EU to further progress campaigns within the transport sector. If granted, this will involve Transdev staff contributing their knowledge and experience through attendance at events throughout Europe over a 2 year period.