BWI World Board makes final preps for Congress

After two years of pandemic restrictions, BWI World Board members gathered for a two-day face-to-face meeting on 26-27 April in Geneva, Switzerland. The Board reviewed BWI’s key programs and approved final preparations for its upcoming 5th World Congress to be held in Madrid, Spain from 4 to 7 October 2022.

The board meeting began by discussing the latest international issues that affect BWI’s affiliates and workers worldwide. This was led by PROFBUD President Vasyl Andreyev and Building Workers’ Federation General Secretary Sandar Phyo. Andreyev and Sandar addressed the Board online and gave the latest on the Ukrainian workers’ resistance against the invasion and the conduct of humanitarian work, and the Myanmar people’s struggle to reclaim democracy. 

This was followed by the Board’s approval of the BWI’s World Congress theme and logo. BWI will carry the theme “Vamos,” a Spanish term which means “let’s go” to indicate the urgency of the Congress’ call for action. It will be followed by the message “Organise Beyond Borders” to reiterate the principle of internationalism, particularly the need to intensify global trade union building; and underscore the imperative to break barriers that promote inequality in gender, digitalisation and work status. 

To identify the various aspects of its strategic actions for the next Congress period, the message “For the People. For Peace. For the Planet” was added to highlight the wholistic role of trade unions in societies and the global arena.

For the logo, the five (5) lines of dots indicate the five (5) regions where BWI is present at, while the colour scheme represents trade unionism, the climate and environment, forest and wood industries, the women’s movement, the building materials and construction sectors and our blue planet. The myriad of colours also pays homage to Spain, the vibrant country which will host BWI’s 5th Congress.  

The Board also tackled BWI’s 2023-2026 strategic plan. It decided that the plan’s convergence points must focus on climate justice, inclusive trade unions, safe and healthy workers, globalised rights, and equal future.


Thereafter, BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson gave a report on BWI’s 2021-2022 activities. He highlighted important achievements and advances made on the campaign to recognise workplace health and safety a fundamental right, women rights and gender equality, youth empowerment, sports and decent work, migrant workers’ rights, forestry and certification schemes, MNC engagement, climate justice and the future of work. 

Likewise, a 73-page report covering BWI’s activities from 2018 to 2022 was presented to the Board for approval. The report, which focused on BWI’s convergence points, will be forwarded to affiliates on 15 June. A shorter and more popular version, including interviews and photos, will be submitted at a later date.

Amendments to BWI’s Statutes were also proposed and presented to the Board for endorsement, particularly on associated membership, length of congress period and electronic voting, role and size of the presidium, completion of youth structures in regional structures, and securing 1/3 women representation in statutory bodies.


Resolutions on climate (3), future of work and youth (2), gender (2), solidarity actions (4), multinationals, IFAs and IFIs (3), social protection and mental health (2) were also proposed for endorsement to the Board.  

The World Board meeting concluded with a solemn ceremony commemorating the life and memory of Jin Sook Lee, BWI’s beloved and much missed former Global Campaign Director.