BWI signed an International Framework Agreement (IFA) with Veidekke ASA, Norway’s largest construction company, on 24 January 2017 renewing its commitment to labour standards and human rights.
General Secretary Ambet Yuson stated, "This is an important achievement in reaching workers on the ground as we are moving to a comprehensive and enforceable approach to address all stages of the supply chain."
Together with the Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions (Fellesforbunet) and The Norwegian Union of General Workers (Norsk Arbeidsmandsforbund), this is the result of a long relationship which began in 2005. The Secretary General of BWI, Ambet Yuson signed the agreement with union leader Erna Hagensen from the Norwegian Workers, Jørn Eggum from the Federation and CEO Arne Giske of Veidekke. The signing was in conjunction with the Annual Meeting between the unions and the executives of Veidekke ASA. Vice-President Steinar Krogstad from Fellesforbundet and Chair of the BWI Committee of Auditors has been instrumental in the conclusion of the agreement.
Veidekke ASA is the fourth largest construction and civil engineering company in Scandinavia. Founded in 1936, it employs 7,000 people with 230 apprentices and 100 trainees.
One salient aspect of the agreement is that it extends to all Veidekke operations, including contractors, subcontractors and participants in joint ventures. This highlights the work of BWI and associated trade unions to guarantee the application of labour standards along the global supply chain of Veidekke.
The agreement has a special clause on health and safety reassuring compliance with ILO Conventions 155 and 167. The company has signed to engage with its employees, workers’ representatives and trade unions to continually improve its health and safety performance.
Veidekke also commits to a strict policy on forced labour, prohibiting the use of forced labour including ‘slave’ and penal labour in line with ILO Conventions 29 and 105, as well as a strict commitment to ban child labour. The agreement also contemplates a prevention programme on HIV/AIDS through awareness raising campaigns.