Recommend this page

Stay up to date on news and events in the BWI. Join our email news service!

27 November 2007

BWI World Board and Council met in Geneva

On 15 and 16 November 2007, BWI World Board and Council members discussed the future European Migrant Workers Network, the strategy and plans 2007/2008. A new IFA model was adopted. And two panels were organised on occupational cancer and international framework agreements (IFAs).

The World Council examined the project aiming at setting up a European Migrant Workers Network. Set up by the BWI, IG Bau and Unia the project would concentrate on the building sector and wood working trades through developing common tools like a joint website.

In addition, BWI delegates endorsed the regional strategy and activity plans for 2007 and 2008 and the global preliminary budget for 2008. There were discussions about the adhoc groups on WTO public procurement issues, the IFAs, health and safety, wood and forestry, construction and migrants. Affiliates are still invited to join and to contact

Among the panelists discussing BWI's future direction on IFAs and results of the ad hoc group, Christer Walivaara (Byggnads, Sweden), Bert Römer (IG Metall, Germany), Owen Hernstadt (IAM-AW, USA)and Mohd. Khalid Bin Atan, (KPPPSM, Malaysia). The panelists reported on the importance of IFAs as an organising tool. They also shared experiences on monitoring, conflict resolution, the need of developing IFAs with companies in different regions and involving affiliates upon signing and monitoring such agreements. In this connection, BWI delegates accepted the new model framework agreement here as a basis for negotiations with companies which relates to all operations including subsidiaries, contractors, suppliers and joint ventures. The model agreement also focusses more on the implementation. In addition, the role of affiliates in initiating, negotiating and implementing is increased and the paragraph on conflict resolution is clearer.

Fiona Murie (BWI Director Global OHS Programme) introduced the other panel "BWI campaign on occupational cancer". Workers in BWI sectors have elevated risks of developing different types of cancer as a result of their occupational exposure. In this connection, Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, the Secretary General of ISSA said that the most urgent priorities are to stop introducing more asbestos, to remove asbestos and to use substitutes as asbestos kills thousands of people from cancer every week. Igor Fedotov (ILO SafeWork) presented ILO's future action which includes among others the promotion of ratifications of ILO C. 162 and C.139; application of the ILO Asbestos Resolution, 2006; promotion of ILO Framework C.187; and the establishment of national action programmes.

The following affiliates were accepted into affiliation as from January 2008: SPNSH (Albania), FNSCM (Romania); NFAF (Bulgaria); NACBAWU (South Africa); SITICEDPA (Panama); S&WWTU (Trinidad & Tobago); ACIW (Philippines); NZAEPMU (New Zealand); and DAMU (India). BWI total membership includes 321 unions.

The changes in the Committees are reflected on the web here. Affiliates are encouraged to fill in the vacant positions. A short film on the next congress venue in Lille (France, December 2009) was presented to the delegates.

The next meetings of the World Board will be held on 21 May 2008 and World Council on 13-14 November 2008. The other meetings can be found here.