SGIP in Macedonia signs new agreement with Sinohydro to improve working conditions at the largest infrastructure project in the country

On the 12th of November 2015 the construction union SGIP in Macedonia signed an Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese multinational Sinohydro, Granit AD Skopje, Ilinden AD Struga, Transmet Ltd. Skopje, GIM AD Skopje and Victoria Invest from Albania, committing to implement measures on health and safety at work, as well as labour related issues in accordance with the labour regulations of the Republic of Macedonia.

In future, until the completion of the project in 2018, the cooperation between the contractors and the union SGIP will be extended, particularly in the area of compliance with health and safety measures. The agreement should serve as a positive example for contractors who have works in infrastructure projects in Macedonia.

Since 2010, the SGIP is focusing since 2010 on organising workers in infrastructure projects, with a special focus on workers in the “Pan-European Corridor Projects”. Since 2012, it started with activities related to the Corridor 8 (Highway section Kicevo – Ohrid and Miladinovci – Stip financed by the Exim Bank of China with 581 million Euro), currently the biggest infrastructure project in the country, and undertook various activities in outreaching to the workers, the main contractor Synohydro, sub-contractors as well as the ministry for transport and communication. The union also launched several organising campaigns focusing on safe work in road building and workers organising into the union fold.

The Trade Union of Construction, Civil Engineering and Projection of Macedonia, SGIP is an active member of the South East Europe Union network on infrastructure projects since 2010 and hosted the SEE Network seminar in 2014 that analysed CBAs signed with MNCs, including Chinese MNCs, in other parts of the world.

This achievement will not only give an additional stimulus to the work of SGIP, but also other Unions in South East Europe who are aiming to organise workers and improve working conditions in infrastructure projects and Multinational corporations, particularly in Chinese companies.