New BWI report: Social dialogue and collective bargaining in the green transition

In line with the ongoing COP 28 climate change discussions in Dubai where governments and businesses are set to explore the path to a sustainable energy transition and measures to decarbonise the highest emitting sectors, including building and construction, BWI underscores that any transition must have the indispensable support and involvement of workers. Workers are essential, and without them, there can be no just transition. The transition needs to be just, worker-centred, socially-driven, and socially acceptable. This includes holding companies accountable for their climate policies and addressing the impact of such policies on their workers.

How can companies and businesses engage with trade unions on a just transition? With the study released today, titled “Social dialogue and collective bargaining in the green transition in BWI sectors," The study, with the help of the Laudes Foundation, explores ways, showcases good practices, and provides guidance and recommendations on how to include a just transition in social dialogue and collective bargaining, with a specific focus on international framework agreements (IFAs), and contribute to strengthening workers and trade unions' agency on climate change issues. 

Social dialogue and collective bargaining are key tools for trade unions and workers to shape, negotiate, and influence the transition to greener models and practices. Any transition should be based and grounded on sound, mature, and trustful social dialogue and industrial relations with trade unions.

As part of its priority to tackle the climate crisis, BWI aims to expand the scope of the IFAs to include Just Transition provisions, as it already happens in some IFAs and with numerous collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) at national and sectoral levels.

The report is designed for trade union leaders, workers' representatives, and organizers at the workplace in BWI’s sectors to support them in advancing social dialogue and collective bargaining on a just transition, particularly with multinational corporations (MNCs). It includes a mapping and analysis of existing IFAs/CBAs in BWI sectors and selected countries, actors, processes, and provisions related to just transition.

The findings will be used to inform BWI’s global level and its member organisations’ national-level strategies to engage in cross-border social dialogue on just transition with industry employers, and in transnational collective bargaining with multinational companies in BWI sectors.

The report also includes a toolkit to support BWI and affiliates in developing a union policy and bargaining position and engaging in collective bargaining with multinational corporations on a just transition in BWI sectors, particularly through IFAs.

Supporting organized labour in opening up spaces for participation through existing industrial relations tools and policy dialogues will contribute to workers' buy-in within the process of a just transition in the built environment.

Download the report in EN FR  DE