This September 28th, in Panama City, initiated the Global Conference Cement with a participation of 150 leaders of unions affiliated to BWI in 43 countries worldwide, in order to make a study on labor relations, outsourcing, health and safety, change climate, remuneration and social protection in the cement industry.
Saúl Méndez, General Secretary of SUNTRACS and Vice President of the BWI Regional Committee, emphasized that the Global Cement Conference is an important component in the BWI strategy of defense of workers' rights, as multinational companies cement companies are located between the worst companies with the worst working conditions.
"Workers organized and unorganized in BWI will undertake a new campaign in order to enforce the guarantees and fundamental rights won by the working class. Hence the study we have done allows agree global action in the cement industry as well as improve and continue dignifying our work", noted Mendez.
Among slogans proclaimed by union leaders between each speaker, Albert Yuson, General Secretary of the Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) thanked to SUNTRACS for leadership in hosting the Conference and recognized another trade union cooperation partners who supported the conference. He stressed is solidarity with the international trade union movement related to the recent peace agreement in Colombia. He referred to the gravity of the political situation in Brazil and made clear that it's time to show support for Brazil, because progressive governments are under attack. "We need to affirm our unity and continue to offer solidarity", reaffirmed.
On the other hand, Pierre Cuppens, BWI Deputy President explained the challenges and prospects for cement workers at the Conference. Gerardina González-Marroquin, ILO Deputy Regional Director provided an overview on employment and working conditions worldwide and in the region as well as the achievement of sustainable development goals.
Gerardo Martínez, President of the BWI Regional Committee spoke about the integration processes that have not included workers; the challenges for unions in the region, decent work programs, democracy and employment for all. The Minister of Labour and Labour Development of Panama: Luis E. Carles referred to the role of the unions in the decent work agenda; actions and priorities of Panama.
After the opening session, the company Cementos Argos offered a cocktail to the participants.