BWI general secretary reports on activities

30 November 2017 22:35


"I express my gratitude to the Africa MENA affiliates given Africa is the birth place of the BWI sports campaign" said Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of the BWI while reporting on the International's activities. "Africa has been a region where BWI campaign on Chinese multinationals is successful organising 50'000 workers with 74 collective bargainings. This means Africa successfully applies the innovative organising strategy".

Special mention for the Latin America and Caribbean region where the membership has grown almost 300 percent. However, amidst these, there is a growing concern of the emergence of the rights wing, white supremacy undermining what the unions have fought. Unions in Europe and North America are confronted with the hostility climate. This severely impacts the migrant workers. Donald Trump administration’s slogan is “America First” but this harmed our brothers and sisters in the North America.

The General Secretary recognizes the achievements in the Asia Pacific region despite of democracy feedback. The umbrella revolution in Hong Kong, but still "we need to fight for the release of political activists in Hong Kong". In Cambodia, BWI affiliate step forward for democracy and better political situation.

"We are confronted with a precarious society. 75 percent of the workers have no social protection. There are still millions of child labourers and 2.78 million workers die each year from work related injuries and health issues. BWI affiliates are leading the struggle." In 2017, it is important to stress that global inequality has risen to the same level as in 1920s.

"Cooperation among workers is required to fight against racism." He also added that "global solidarity is the answer to companies going global".

The International has won its campaign in Qatar including securing the MoU with SCDL. "For the first time, the BWI has a Qatari delegate in its congress. We 5000 workers were organised and migrant workers now benefit from this campaign and join safety inspections. Expressed his gratitude to the unions that have been supporting BWI's work in the joint inspections: ACV-CSC-Belgium, Byggnads-Sweden, FFW-Philippines, FILLEA-Italy, FILCA-Italy Fellesforbundt-Norway, FNV-Netherlands, FGTB-Belgium, GWU-Norway, IG BAU-Germany, Prospect-United Kingdom, Rakennusliitto-Finland, SEK-Cyprus, UNIA-Switzerland, and UNITE the Union-United Kingdom.

In the frame of the “No merger without workers’ rights” campaign in the cement sector, BWI is negociating with LafargeHolcim. Yuson also stressed the BWI campaign in wood and forestry sector advancing workers' rights in forest certification encouraging global solidarity and workers' power.

Yuson concluded by saying: "These campaigns lead to meaningful negotiation. We cannot fight the neoliberal without uniting with other unions at all level. We need to have strong structure and membership. It is time to change and move on".