Victory in Mauritius: Union secures new CBA in construction

In a clear triumph for workers' rights, the BWI-affiliated Construction Workers’ Union of Mauritius (CMWEU) successfully negotiated a sectoral collective bargaining agreement applicable to workers in the construction sector. After rigorous negotiations and unwavering determination, the union and the Building and Civil Engineering Contractors Association (BACECA) agreed to terms that address the immediate concerns of workers and lay the foundation for a more equitable and sustainable future for all stakeholders involved.

The CMWEU looks to the new CBA as a testament to the strength of the workers’ collective action in the country and the unwavering dedication of trade unionists to advocate for fair wages, improved working conditions, and enhanced benefits for workers across the sector. The agreement secured a 5 percent wage increase (and has done so every year); ensured that migrant workers’ employment contracts clearly state job titles, grades, and wages (potentially ending migrant workers’ wage theft); ensured that work of equal value is equally remunerated for subcontractor employees, and sets out the union’s right to access a construction site to conduct risk assessments.

The agreement will cover no fewer than 60,000 workers in total. In addition, CMWEU also signed a joint reference letter addressed to the Minister of Labour for the incorporation of the above into the ‘Construction, Blockmaking and Related Industries Remuneration Order” as it aims to secure the said wins for local and foreign workers. The CMWEU views the 5th Collective Agreement as evidence of mutual respect, dialogue, and principled compromise, highlighting the constructive collaboration between labour and management.