The BWI affiliate Histadrut Construction and Allied Industries Workers Union strengthened its international work during its 14th Congress held in Tel Aviv last 24 October. Its various Congress resolutions outlined the innovative union work that it plans to implement and the presence of 33-strong delegation of other BWI affiliates from 16 countries clearly highlighted its commitment to international cooperation and solidarity. Yitzhak Moyal was re-elected as the union president for another five-year term.
Under the resolution Strengthening International Ties, the union called on BWI affiliates to cooperate on projects that will promote the rights of Israeli and Palestinian workers in the construction sector and serve as a bridge to peace, and act to achieve fair employment for migrant workers across the globe. The resolution further stated that this international collaboration shall form part of the responsibility and desire to advance peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. Cooperation in the grievance mechanisms, awareness programs on workers’ rights as well as on vocational training are also mentioned as platforms of cooperation with the BWI affiliate - the Palestinian Union of Building Workers (PGFTU).
Ramazan Agar, President of the Turkish affiliate YOL-IS and Vice-President of BWI European Regional Committee spoke on behalf of the BWI delegation. He reiterated the value of international cooperation and appreciated the innovative unionism – which is the action theme of BWI during its current Congress period - that the union has undertaken with regard to health and safety, women in the building trades, migrants rights in collective agreements, organizing tower crane operators, and workers’ protection of the Palestinian workers.
In another resolution, the union also called on trade unions from other countries of origins of the migrant construction workers to sign collaboration agreements to have them organised and protected.
BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson sent a solidarity message stating that, “Histadrut construction union is one of the unions that has really worked on the key work areas and innovative approaches that the BWI Congress identified in its Strategic Plan 2018 – 2021. In the context of a challenging health and safety situation for construction workers and on the continuing need for protecting all the workers in the industry, Histadrut has never wavered in performing its trade union tasks. I congratulate Yitzhak Moyal on his continuing leadership of the union.”