The construction sector comprises a wide range of economic activities and it is one of the biggest global employment provider – around 7 per cent of the labour force. The BWI struggles for the protection of workers´ rights mainly through enforcement of legislation and regulations and by promoting decent working conditions together with the social dimension of sustainable development in economic growth, environmental conservation and society.
The building materials sector is a fast-growing sector parallel with the building and construction sector. It includes a diverse range of suppliers, from cement manufacturers to glass and ceramic manufacturers, as well as providing a large market for paint and wiring manufacturers, and a host of other related industries. It has a key role to generate the transition to a low-carbon economy by producing alternative building materials to replace the hazardous building materials causing environmental and health concerns.
Der Baumaterialiensektor ist eine mit dem Bausektor rasch wachsende Branche und umfasst ein breit gefächertes Angebot an Herstellern. Dies reicht von Zementherstellern über Glas- und Keramikproduzenten bis hin zu einem großen Markt an Herstellern von Farben und Elektrotechnik. Darüber hinaus sind eine Reihe weiterer Branchen eng mit der Baumaterialienbranche verbunden. Der Sektor spielt eine Schlüsselrolle beim Übergang zu einer Wirtschaft mit geringen CO2-Emissionen, der über die Herstellung alternativer Baumaterialien als Ersatz von gesundheits- und umweltschädlichen Bausubstanzen erfolgt.
Schätzungen zufolge sind 30% der Flächen weltweit bewaldet. Rund 13,2 Millionen Menschen sind im formellen Forstsektor beschäftigt. Die BHI setzt sich für den Schutz der Rechte der Wald- und Forstarbeiter ein. Darüber hinaus unterstützt sie den Ansatz, dass die Arbeitnehmer des Sektors für den Erhalt unserer Wälder eine zentrale Rolle spielen können, sofern ihre Rechte respektiert werden. Zudem fördert die BHI die Waldzertifizierungssysteme zur Schaffung nachhaltiger Wälder im wirtschaftlichen, ökologischen und gesellschaftlichen Sinne.
It is estimated that 30% of the world's area is covered by forests and some 13,2 million people are employed in the formal forestry sector. The BWI works for both the protection of wood and forest workers´ rights and we foster the idea that workers can play a key role in maintaining our forests, provided that their rights are respected. We also support the forest certification systems to create economically, environmentally and socially sustainable forests.
Zu den verwandten Industrien und Handelsaktivitäten gehören verschiedene Untersektoren wie die Bergbau- und Steinbruchbranche sowie Sägewerke und die Hobelindustrie. Darüber hinaus sind ihm Hersteller von nicht-metallischen Mineralprodukten, die Hoch- und Tiefbaubranche, spezialisierte Bauaktivitäten, sowie das Architektur- und Bauingenieurwesen angegliedert.
Der Bausektor umfasst ein breites Spektrum an Wirtschaftsaktivitäten. Rund sieben Prozent der Arbeitnehmer weltweit sind in der Baubranche beschäftigt. Damit gehört sie mit zu den Sektoren, die weltweit die meisten Arbeitnehmer beschäftigt. Die BHI setzt sich für den Schutz der Arbeitnehmerrechte ein. Dies erfolgt in erster Linie durch ihr Engagement für die Durchsetzung von Gesetzen und Bestimmungen und durch ihren aktiven Einsatz für menschenwürdige Arbeitsbedingungen. Darüber hinaus engagiert sich die BHI für die soziale Dimension der nachhaltigen Entwicklung im Hinblick auf das Wirtschaftswachstum, den Erhalt der Umwelt und der Gesellschaften.
With the creation of the Workers' Trade Union of Faber-Castell in Peru a new step is given towards the genuine social dialogue and labour relations between the German multinational and its workers at the facilities of the city of Lima, Peru.
107 union representatives and shop stewards gathered in Antalya, Turkey, to learn and share experiences on how to organise new members to fight for better working conditions – especially for rural forest workers and migrants who work in precarious employment.
The Autonomous Trade Union of Road Maintenance Workers of Serbia, ATURMW, initiated a round table on the topic „Law on Public Procurement in the Light of the New EU Directive on Public Procurement to be adopted during the second quarter of 2017.
The crackdown against the labour movement in South Korea continues. On the 29th of December, Kim Gi-hong who is a member of the Korea Plant Construction Workers' Union was arrested in his home for taking part in the rally on 14 November 2015.
The Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016 has informed the Building and Wood Workers‘ International (BWI) that they have partially incorporated the BWI OHS Protocol as their policies.
“The coverage of all workers and employers will have multiple positive effects”, says Jasenka Vuksic, president of the SGH in Croatia and member of the World Council of the BWI. A new Collective Bargaining Agreement for the construction industry was concluded in Croatia on the occasion of the Construction Workers Day on 25 September 2015 and issued on 15 December 2015.
After the successful negotiations of the Trade Union of Construction Industry of Croatia, SGH, and the Construction Industry Association of Croatia HUP-UPG last year, both social partners also signed a joint proposal submitted to the Ministry of Labour and Retirement System for the coverage of all workers and employers, including those that are not members of the SGH and HUP-UPG, by the signed Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement introduced few innovations in terms of rights and obligations of the workers’ health and safety representative, education and training for work, and in particular, working time, breaks and leaves. The CBA regulates also the salaries/tariffs, allowances and material rights of workers and the conditions for work of the trade union. The rights of posted workers is regulated in an additional annex to the CBA. With the accession of Croatian in the EU in 2013 Croatian workers can freely work, without restrictions in more than 15 EU countries.
For Jasenka Vuksic: ”Among others equalization of the material and social situation of the workers, the removal of unfair competition in the construction industry because of using cheaper and exploited labour force and mitigating undeclared work and the gray economy, control of calculation and payment of gross salary.”
SGH and HUP-UPG are continuously developing their partnership. In the frame of an EU funded project, implemented by the UATUC (to which SGH is affiliated) and the HUP, a joint data base, including 200 collective bargaining agreements out of 550 that are in force in the country - 29 related to the construction industry, has been developed and presented in October 2015. In addition, the data includes 150 indicators for each CBA which allows an analysis of the content and provides statistics. See www.kolektivni-ugovori.info
Among the various initiatives, the SGH has, recently initiated the discussion about the development of paritarian funds in the construction industry and is continuing with its organising drives in infrastructure projects.
Indian authorities must do more to protect the rights of workers abroad. This message was delivered at a trade union conference in Chennai in South Indian state Tamil Nadu organized by the construction workers’ union TKTMS.
After extensive negotiations in 2015, the Trade Union of Construction and Building Materials of Montenegro, SGIGMCG, concluded with the Employers Association of Montenegro the national branch Collective Bargaining Agreement on amendments to the CBA for the construction and building materials industry.
The Construction and Unorganised Workers Federation (CUWF) – a state-wide federation led by the BWI affiliate TKTMS –organized its State Level General Body meeting on 19th January 2016 at Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu State, India.
More than two weeks after the tragic death of Juanito B. Pardillo and injuries sustained by his two Filipino colleagues at their job site, the investigation report has yet to be concluded by the Qatari authorities.
On 21 March Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that he will dissolve both Houses of Parliament if the Senate doesn’t pass bills to reconstitute the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), a move which could pave the way for an election on 2 July.
Earlier this month, leaders of BWI affiliates in Sweden was awarded for their hard-work on ensuring better working and living conditions for workers in the construction sector in relation to international mega-sports events.
A statement of last January 8th, sent to the Regional Office of the Building and Wood Worker´s International (BWI) from its subsidiary in Argentina, Ceramic Workers' Union of the Republic of Argentina (FOCRA), reports that the trade union if workers of the Company Ceramica San Lorenzo, belonging to the Plant Azul began a few days ago a total labor strike since the Etex Group fired a "hundred" workers.
Due the importance that the Building and Wood Worker´s International (BWI) gives to the recent conflicts in various countries resulted of the restructuring that Etex Group has carried out since 2013, we published a note of the representatives of Etex Group in Europe.
The BWI and the Ceramic Workers' Union of the Republic of Argentina (FOCRA) has filed a complaint against Etex Group under the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises of the The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
At the recent Congress of the Swedish Painters’ Union close to 150 delegates elected a new leadership to lead the Malareforbundet under the banner of “Equal Values for the Trade Union Movement in the Future.”
The deceased bodies of at least 35 out of 41 missing Chinese construction workers have now been found, after a massive landslide hit a hydropower construction site in China’s Fujian Province early on Sunday morning.
A group of over one hundred rail workers in Hong Kong held a sit-in strike on Monday to protest the failure of their employer to pay HKD$7 million wages (~USD$900,000) owed to them over a month and a half period.
The IVth Congress of the Trade Union of Civil Engineering, Industry and Planning of Republic of Macedonia, SGIP, held on 21 May 2016 in Krusevo Macedonia, gathered 39 delegates, with a participation of more than 30 per cent of young and women delegates.
The Belgian National Contact Person (NCP) of the OECD has accepted a complaint filed by the Building and Wood Workers’ International and its Argentinian affiliate — Ceramic Workers' Union of the Republic of Argentina (FOCRA) — against the Belgian ETEX Group under the OECD Multinational Enterprise Guidelines.
This month union leaders at the Theng Sreng Import Export Co. Ltd, a supplier of building materials (including window and door frames and roofing) to one of Cambodia’s largest house-building firms, were terminated from their employment after forming a union and holding elections.
The BWI is supporting the struggle of 55 maintenance workers at Carlton United Breweries (CUB), members of BWI-affiliate the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and our partner the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU).
This September 28th, in Panama City, initiated the Global Conference Cement with a participation of 150 leaders of unions affiliated to BWI in 43 countries worldwide, in order to make a study on labor relations, outsourcing, health and safety, change climate, remuneration and social protection in the cement industry.
A study implemented to 113 cement companies in 40 countries who cover most regions of the world, confirms the difficulty of the industry to integrate unions in its policy, "even when the sample of the plants studied is atypical," said SECAFI Groupe Alpha, the entity who performed the analysis.
Industri Enregi has a long history of cooperation with BWI in Africa which started in Zimbabwe and Swaziland, about HIV/AIDS, Ethiopia on the same issue of HIV/AIDS and now with the Timber and Woodworkers Union of Ghana in the Furniture sector.
Today at a meeting in Jogjakarta the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Global Social Chamber supported and endorsed the Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) initiative to having core labour standards embedded in all FSC policy standards.
Lunar New Year is just around the corner, and like clockwork this has been proceeded by the annual rise in protests over wage arrears, as migrant workers prepare to return to their family to celebrate. This year protest activity has been particularly acute in the construction industry, according to the China Labour Bulletin.
The BWI recently completed a solidarity mission to Ankara, Turkey, on April 10th and 11th 2017. The delegation included BWI President Per Olof Sjoo, Assistant Education Secretary Jasmin Rezpedovic, Vasyl Andreyev, PROFBUD President, Ukraine, and Co- Chair of the BWI Ad-hoc Working Group on Youth, and Dr. Fabiola Mieres, Global Project Coordinator. Gülsah Doruk, BWI's Project Coordinator in Turkey worked with BWI's Turkish affiliates in the preparations of the mission.
More than 200 timber mill workers remain locked out at Australia’s largest plywood mill at Myrtleford, Victoria, after failing to meet an agreement with the company. The mill is owned by the New Zealand multinational timber firm Carter Holt Harvey (CHH), who have a record of lockouts and poor faith in collective bargaining negotiations.
A few hours ago leaders of the Sabah Timber Industry Employees’ Union (STIEU) emerged from the Court of Appeal in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (Malaysia), elated from the news that Sabah Forest Industries’ (SFI) latest attempt to frustrate union recognition had been thrown out by the Court.
Today, as the 2018 Winter Olympics begin in PyeongChang, South Korea, the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Unions (KFCITU) have released a joint report outlining violations of construction workers’ rights throughout the Olympic construction process.
For the first time, the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) commemorated International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) in Qatar by supporting the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) 2nd National OSH Conference and participating in various site-level activities to raise awareness on safety and health.
On 5 June 2018, the Swiss National Compact Point (NCP) responsible for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises concluded its follow-up on the BWI complaint against FIFA that focused on the 2020 World Cup Games in Qatar.
Today, on the opening of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the BWI and its 12 million members around the world express condolences to the families of the twenty-one construction workers who died during construction of World Cup stadiums.
The Building and Wood Workers’ International has been informed by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in Qatar that a 23-year old Nepalese man was killed yesterday morning, the 14th of August, while working on the project site of Al Wakram Stadium, one of the facilities for the 2022 World Cup games.
Migrant workers building the Imperial Pacific casino and resort on the island of Saipan, which is part of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, have suffered abuses such as unpaid wages, severe injuries, and retaliation.
In 2016 the Israeli tower crane operator Keti Karolov got fired after refusing to continue working in stormy weather. Now, a court has ruled the dismissal illegal and that her employer violated safety rules.
The unions representing the workers of Votorantim Cimentos SA in Brazil and Argentina have decided to request for a meeting with the company to analyze proposals for a unified system of collective bargaining and social dialogue in Brazil.
Members of the Construction and General Site Workers’ Union (CSGWU) in Hong Kong have joined protests on Sunday 14 October against a Government plan to build several artificial islands to ease Hong Kong’s overcrowding problem.
The BWI has published a new report summarizing the findings of a damning investigation by the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman to the International Financing Corporation (IFC), an independent monitoring mechanism for the World Bank’s IFC.
On 1-4 October the BWI participated in the Human Rights Advisory Board’s visit to Doha, Qatar. The Board met with FIFA’s Local Organising Comitte and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy which is responsible for building the infrastructure around the World Cup.
Members of the Sabah timber union are elated after yesterday’s decisive secret ballot election victory at Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) in Sipitang, Malaysia, clearing the way for them to begin collective bargaining.
On 19th of October 2018, at the 10th Assembly of the Trade Union of Industry of Construction (SGH), the delegates re-elected Jasenka Vuksic as president and adopted the SGH Program Orientation for 2018-2022.
The global union network at HeidelbergCement held two days of intensive discussions and exchanges on 1 and 2 November in Frankfurt, Germany, about the situation in different countries where the company is present.
The threat of a strike action at the 870MW Suki Kinari hydro project in Northern Pakistan has compelled China Gezhouba Group to accept key workers’ demands, according to the Pakistan Federation of Building and Wood Workers’ (PFBWW).
In Seoul, South Korea at the National Assembly the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Union (KFCITU) held a photo exhibit show casing a series of photos highlighting women working in the construction industry in South Korea. The exhibit is a collection of photos submitted by photo journalists, freelancers, and others as part of the photo contest.
3 December 2018: Turkish construction union, Turkish Union of Road, Construction and Building Workers (YOL-IS) have issued a harsh press statement denouncing the lack of safety and health in all sectors including construction throughout Turkey.
Hundreds of workers throughout Peru took the streets on January 15, against labor flexibilization promoted by employers and to demand to the government of President Martín Vizcarra, the reactivation of the construction industry.
The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour, and Social Affairs (MADLSA) and Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) organised a Community Leaders’ Forum on Workers’ Welfare on 15 February 2019 in Doha, Qatar.
SNSCAASC and FITCM-N, BWI affiliates in Nicaragua, signed a Regulatory Framework Agreement with the Nicaraguan Chamber of Construction (CNC) to ensure workers from subcontracting companies and outsourcing agencies receive legal and occupational protection, in accordance with the current Collective Bargaining Agreement for the construction sector in the country.
On 6 March Venezuelan construction trade unions, including three BWI affiliates (FENATCS, FETRAMAQUIPES and FETRACONSTRUCCION) reached an agreement with the two chambers that groups construction employers (CVC and CBC).
On 25 March 2019 in Chisinau, Moldova, the Trade Union Federation of Construction and Building Materials Workers of the Republic of Moldova (SINDICONS), and the Federation of Construction and Woodworking Unions of Israel (Histadrut) signed a cooperation Agreement to ensure the protection Moldovan migrant workers working construction sites in Israel.
Participants at the first European Regional Youth Assembly that took place in Stockholm, Sweden partook in an action at Sergel square at the city centre to protest the high level of deadly workplace accidents in the construction sector and send a clear message that every worker has the right to safe working conditions, as the right to live comes before profit.