BWI Policy

BWI activities are determined by its Strategic Plan “Jobs For All - Justice For All: Unions Make it Possible!” adopted at its World Congress in 2013.


Vision: A world with strong, independent, and democratic trade unions in the building and timber trades, where all workers have equitable access to stable jobs, fair wages and safe and healthy working and living conditions. We want to see an enabling environment for Trade Unions, where International Labour Standards are promoted, implemented and enforced, and where social justice, gender equality and respect for trade union and human rights prevail.


Mission: Our fundamental mission is to defend and advance workers' rights, in order to improve working and living conditions in our sectors. The BWI, above all, has a rights based approach. We believe that Trade Union rights are human rights and are based on equality, solidarity and democracy, and that Trade Unions are indispensable to good governance. The International Labour Standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at work and the Decent Work agenda of the ILO is a Trade Union agenda in our sectors. We demonstrate the positive contribution from organised Labour, the “Union Effect”, in achieving these development objectives and in making workers' rights a priority. Our trade union networks are ready to confront exploitative employment and labour practices and to stand up for the rights of all workers in the building and timber trades.


Goals : To improve working and living conditions in the building and wood sectors and promote sustainable industrial development.

  • Promote and defend human and trade union rights: demonstrate the positive “Union Effect” in achieving Sustainable Development and Decent Work through campaigns, networking, communications and development projects.
  • Increase Trade Union Strength: provide support for constant growth of Trade Union membership among formal and informal workers and improve Trade Union capacity to represent workers in sectoral policy, collective bargaining and workplace organising activities.
  • Promote a stable and high level of employment in our sectors: More direct employment and wider Collective Bargaining coverage is essential to guarantee trade union and employment rights, living wages for men and women, proper working hours, good standards of Health, Safety and welfare, and skills development to minimise the health risks for workers and to maximise their employability and quality of work. BWI will combat social dumping caused by heightenened competition between companies on wages and working conditions.
  • Influence policy and strengthen the capacity of institutions and tripartite structures in our sectors: Aim to improve employment and labour practices, and to promote, implement and enforce labour standards through tripartism, social dialogue and sustainable industrial policy development. Provide support for greater trade union participation in the decision making processes.

  • Key areas for strategic plan 2014-2017 Organising and Trade Union building: Increase membership and workplace representation through unions which have a rights based approach, strong structures, clear policy agendas and organising ability.

  • Bargaining: Raise standards through binding agreements and strengthen systems of Collective Bargaining to give greater coverage to workers in our sectors. Promote social dialogue and use sectoral agreements to combat social dumping.
  • Influencing Policy and improving Institutional participation: It is of fundamental importance to improve the institutional capacity and to support tripartite industry structures in our sectors, if we are to have meaningful social dialogue, tripartite working relationships and sustainable industrial policy development.

  •