On 28 November BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson submitted a copy of a new report on working conditions in the global cement industry to ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in Geneva. Also present at the special presentation was Pierre Cuppens, BWI Deputy President and Chair of the Cement Working Group as well as members of the BWI World Council. Since then, over 30 unions around the world have taken action, submitting the report to their employers and demanding action.
“The cement industry is increasingly being dominated by multinationals, however at the same time we are seeing more subcontracting across the sector”, said Yuson. “In some regions up to three-quarters of cement multinationals’ operations are now being outsourced to subcontractors and third party operations.”
“The impact of this on occupational health and safety is particularly severe – our research indicates that 83% of fatalities in the cement sector are taking place in subcontracted operations. Workers are demanding that cement MNCs clean up their act, by implementing decent working conditions across their operations.”
“By submitting the report to their employers, unions in Europe, Latin America, Africa and throughout Asia are demanding an end to precarious and unsafe working conditions. This is the beginning of a global movement in the cement sector for workers to secure their fundamental human rights and improve sustainability in the sector."
The report focuses on five main themes – trade union rights, subcontracting and outsourcing, health and safety, climate change and social protection. Photos from unions submitting the report are available here.