Call to recognise OHS as a right gains momentum in Spain

BWI’s campaign to persuade companies, big or small, to commit to a declaration recognising workplace health and safety is gaining momentum.

In Spain, the General Union of Workers (UGT FICA) and the Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) signed a declaration  with the country’s major construction companies, namely the Obrascón Huarte Lain (OHL), ACCIONA Construction, Sacyr, Ferrovial, Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) and Dragados. 

The said companies, which employ a large number of Spain’s construction workers, agreed that ensuring the highest standards of workplace health and safety is an essential contribution to the global and collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. By agreeing to the declaration, the companies add their voices to the urgent call to improve the application of international occupational health and safety standards worldwide.

The declaration also calls on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to recognise occupational health and safety as a fundamental right of all workers. By doing so, it will raise the status of workplace health and safety to the same level as the right to join a union and bargain collectively and freedom from workplace discrimination and child labour. It will also encourage governments to ratify and fully implement ILO Conventions relevant to workers’ health and safety. 

As part of this year’s commemoration of International Workers’ Memorial Day, BWI launched the Global Alliance for Health and Safety Campaign to demonstrate that there is a broad global support for the recognition of health and safety as a fundamental right amongst unions and employers. BWI said that this would ensure that there is increased accountability on the part of governments and employers to international labour standards on health and safety.