Video: Decent jobs are the backbone of clean construction


As the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference gets underway in Glasgow, Scotland, the Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, calls for a just transition to a greener and cleaner economy that is fully committed to decent jobs, workers’ retooling and social protection, and gender equality. 

In this short video, BWI affiliates from different parts of the world, assert that addressing climate change issues and ensuring decent and quality jobs, particularly in the construction industry, are not mutually exclusive of one another. They are, in fact, integral parts of a strategic framework to secure a green and sustainable future. 

BWI believes that decent jobs are the backbone of a greener and cleaner global economy, while a climate-friendly economy ensures the highest health and safety standards to protect workers, and bring us closer to a gender-equal future where women workers don’t face higher risks and heavier burdens from the impacts of climate change in situations of poverty. 

Video scripts


My name is Ramilaben, I have been working in SEWA since last 40 years. I am a leader in the construction trade. We as a trade union should take up this case and create green jobs for the construction workers. This green livelihood should ensure decent work on both men and women workers.

Justus Shaende

My name is Justus Shaende. I work for a company called Namibia Construction here in Namibia and am also a MANWU member. And, we recommend, that in future, construction companies should start using green construction materials so we can prevent the issue of climate change.

Vasyl Andreyev

I'm Vasyl Andreyev and I am the chair of the Construction Workers Union from Ukraine. Just transition to a better, greener and cleaner economy, is very important for our workers. And a radical transformation of our construction sector in Ukraine is required for that. When the standards construction workers union alone can’t change it, we need involvement from the progressive stakeholders from all over the world. Just transition, greenerand cleaner economy for Ukrainian workers!

Theresa Mora

Hello friends my name is Theresa Mora. I am from Cement & Lime and Allied Workers Union of Zimbabwe (CLAWUZ) in Zimbabwe. I am a union member. I am here to talk about climate change and the impact it has had on the worker.

Sometimes the worker is faced with heat stress, heat stroke, sometimes even death. So, there is need for the worker to be more protected against this impact. For the future of the construction season the construction companies should come up with green technologies, for example the recycling of the materials used in construction. There is a need for the construction industry to come up with newer cements, greener cements that contains less carbon-dioxide that can then be released into the atmosphere, these are the greener technologies we are talking about.

Marco Benati

Hi, I am Marco Benati fromFILLEA-CGIL in Italy. We, the building and construction workers, have been engaged for years to realise green construction. We need to consume less soil, use recycled and recyclable materials. Because the future of the planet depends on all of us, and we must fight for it, all over the world.

Andréia Barbosa

Hello! I am Andréia Barbosa. I am here from Brazil, and I am part of the MTST movement of homeless workers. We, women, condemn this government, precisely because of the lack of housing for the lack of rights, due to the lack of dialogue, and all the rights thatwe are losing.


I'm Patrick, a laborer at Consar Limited located in Tema in Ghana.

In the afternoon when the sun starts scorching, we feel very tired and uncomfortable to work under the sun. The heat provided by this sun in the afternoon causes sweat on our skin. To still talk of the effect of this radiant energy, it has a negative effect on our health. We sometimes suffer from headaches and others.

Adalberto Galvão

In Ilhéus, we want development but in line with environmental sustainability. Our BWI, along with guiding this global action, makes us reflect our cities: that environmental sustainability has to be on side of labor sustainability and therefore, guaranteeing investments, development and environmental sustainability is to guarantee, above all, safe jobs for workers, dignity at work, a negotiation agenda that considers their development and, above all, quality and decent jobs.

Şükrü Durmuş

Forests play an important rolein combating climate change. Especially forest fires and excessive increase in forest production negatively affect climate change. In addition, it is essential to protect the rights of workers working in forest production. We, as TARIM ORMAN-IS, demand the immediate halt of production that will cause the destruction of forests by multinational companies.

Hala Farraj

After the encouragement of the union, we have started to go to work sites. And we as female construction workers have been provided with the necessary skills to work and become more creative in our professions.

Nina Kreutzman

I'm Nina Kreutzman from Finland, from The Finnish Construction Workers' Trade Union. I'm the International Secretary, and we've been talking a lot about the Green Deal in Europe and for that to happen in a real way, we really need to involve workers on both the local and national level in the social dialogue to discuss with the government and the employers about things to really make it happen for us.

Irailson Warneaux

Hello friends. My name is Irailson, better known as Gazo within the union movement. I am president of the Heavy Construction and Assembly Workers Trade Union of the State of Bahia, SINTEPAV. We have been discussing the importance of investments in each city and each country, but we cannot lose sight of each city sustainability, of health and safety for workers, because we need to work in a safe environment a work environment without harassment or discrimination so companies can increase their profits, but also giving a social contribution for each day, by working together with each countrygovernment and each city reps.