BWI supports Lebanese trade union leader amidst legal harassment

The Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI), representing 12 million workers in the Building, Building Materials, Wood, Forestry, and Allied industries worldwide, stands firmly in solidarity with the National Federation of Workers and Employees' Trade Unions in Lebanon (FENASOL) in light of a lawsuit filed by construction company MAN Enterprises against FENASOL President Castro Abdallah.

BWI believes that the legal charge filed against Abdallah is a form of harassment and an attack on the rights of Lebanese workers, particularly their right to freely and independently unionise. We remind the Lebanese authorities of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 98, or the Right to Organise and Collectively Bargaining of 1949, to which the country is a signatory, that all workers are entitled to enjoy adequate protection against acts of anti-union discrimination in respect of their employment.

We are concerned about the ongoing labour rights infringements linked to MAN Enterprise. They encompass tactics such as pressuring workers into signing contract terminations, unjustly withholding payment for overtime hours, and neglecting to provide adequate healthcare in cases of workplace accidents. We join FENASOL in asking the Lebanese Ministry of Labour to immediately intervene to respond to their calls for justice and accountability, and to guarantee Abdalla’s unfettered exercise of his trade union rights free from any harassment. The Lebanese authorities must respect international labour standards, in particular workers' freedom of association, and ensure that the principles of human rights, justice, dignity and fairness prevail. BWI stands with FENASOL in protecting workers' rights, dignity, and freedom of association. These rights are universal as they transcend borders, and as such, we remain steadfast in advancing and protecting them across the globe.