Pan Europe: Union leaders deepen solidarity and cooperation
More than 30 leaders and officers of construction, forest and wood workers unions from the Pan European region, representatives of the SBTF-Swedish affiliates of BWI and BWI gathered in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 21 September for a project advisory committee meeting to discuss solidarity cooperation in the region.
This is how trade unionists saw the reinstatement to work on 18 September of trade union leader Dariusz Kawka in an IKEA Industry factory in Lubawa, Poland. This was after Kawka, , Chairperson of the NSZZ "Solidarność,” was unjustly dismissed by the company on 28 November 2022 based on false charges.
Carrying the them ‘‘As ZCATWU, We Can Be Influential Enough to Engineer Change That Promotes Members’ Interests and Rights”, the Zimbabwe Construction and Allied Trades Workers’ Union (ZCATWU) successfully held its 8th national Congress on 21September in Harare, Zimbabwe.
During the second and last day of BWI’s European Regional Conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 20 September, the global union’s European affiliates elected their new Regional Committee and Vice-Chair for the next four years under the leadership of Johan Lindholm from Sweden’s Byggnads.
Around 160 delegates and observers from 52 construction, wood and forestry and allied materials’ trade unions across 31 European countries attended BWI’s European Regional Conference which opened on 19 September in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
After a devastating earthquake hit Türkiye on 6 February, BWI sent a solidarity mission to the country from 30 August to 1 September to provide assistance to its trade union affiliates and workers affected by the calamity, and identify key areas for reconstruction engagement.
The Council of Global Unions (CGU) issued a statement urging the Iranian government to uphold international labour standards, particularly freedom of association, and to uphold human rights, justice, dignity, and fairness.
Different Global Union Federations (GUF), including the Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI), and trade union solidarity support organisations join the Sri Lankan trade union movement in condemning the proposed "Single Employment Bill," which contains provisions that clearly violate international law, including proposals to cut wages and undermine the country's workers' trade union rights. The proposed plan, dubbed a "slave labour bill" by Sri Lankan trade unions, seeks to repeal 13 existing labour rules that have resulted from years of social dialogue.
We in BWI are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Rajabu Mwondi, General Secretary of the KUPRIPUPA. On 16 August 2023, he returned to his creator after succumbing to an illness while receiving treatment at the Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, expresses its full support and solidarity to the four Unite trade unionists who were dismissed from their jobs by Murphy International.
Following Israel's military offensive into the West Bank, including Jenin, on 3 July, the world's global unions, representing hundreds of millions of workers worldwide, called on the United Nations (UN) and the international community to take multilateral actions to deescalate the violence and achieve just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel.
BWI joins the International community in condemning escalated violence against Palestinians in Jenin, causing the death of at least ten people and injury of around a hundred. We express our full solidarity with the BWI-affiliated Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU).
The Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and fellow global unions stand in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild of America East (jointly, WGA) which have been on strike since 2 May.
BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson met with Myanmar National Unity Government (NUG) Human Rights Minister Aung Myo Min to reiterate the Council of Global Unions’ (CGU) unwavering support to the struggle of the Myanmar people to restore freedom and democracy in their country and bring the military regime to justice.
A global day of action on 1 June that asserted that trade union organising is not a crime and demanded the release of all trade unionists wrongfully imprisoned, stands out in the second and final day of BWI's first World Board Meeting for 2023.
Various global unions, including the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI), issued a statement expressing its strong opposition to the worsening labour rights violations in Belarus, which culminated in 2022 with the dissolution of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP) and its affiliates and arrests and detention of more than 40 trade union leaders and activists, including BKDP President Yarashuk and Vice-President Antusevich.
At Rakennusliitto’s Congress on 11-13 May in Helsinki, Finland, an international seminar with the theme "Builders in Europe and around the World” highlighted the role of international solidarity in addressing the challenges and prospects of the trade union movement.
LabourStart and the Georgian Trade Union Confederation on 28-30 April held a Global Solidarity Conference in Tbilisi, Georgia that brought together trade union leaders and activists from more than 70 countries.
The Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) joined the 200 million-strong Council of Global Union (CGU) in expressing its solidarity with Elizabeth Tang, General Secretary of the International Domestic Workers' Federation (IDWF).
Young leaders of the Union of Workers in the Civil Construction Industries of São Paulo (SINTRACON) expressed its solidarity with Myanmar’s trade unionists and workers who are in the midst of a just struggle to restore democracy in their country.
The BWI Youth is proudly celebrating the election of BWI European Youth Committee Chair and BWI International Youth Committee member Jakob Wagner as the new secretary of the Swedish Building Workers’ Union (BYGGNADS).
SASK, the development cooperation organization of the Finnish trade union movement, dispatched representatives Janne Ronkainen, Executive Director, and Simio Simbine, Regional Representative for Africa, to BWI's Africa and Middle East Regional Office on March 15.
The 12 million-strong Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) expresses its solidarity with Elizabeth Tang, a renowned Hong Kong trade union leader and one of the global labour movement’s distinguished women leaders.
BWI strongly condemns the expulsion of European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) General Secretary Esther Lynch from Tunisia and the entry ban on international trade unionists from Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Norway, Palestine and Spain, including ITUC Deputy general Secretary Owen Tudor.
SASK, the development cooperation organisation of the Finnish trade union movement, together with a representative of the Finish government visited BWI’s Regional Office in South Africa on 28 February.
We, the Council of Global Unions (CGU), on behalf of 200 million workers around the world, expresses its support and solidarity with the UGTT and its affiliates in Tunisia over the arrest of Anis Al-Kaabi, General Secretary of the Tunisia’s Highway Workers Union, and several other UGTT leaders and members who have been questioned and summoned by the police in the past few weeks.
The 12 million-strong Building and Wood Workers’ International’s (BWI), through its General Secretary Ambet Yuson, sends its solidarity and support to the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Unions (KFCITU) and its affiliate, the Korean Construction Workers’ Union (KCWU) as they hold a massive demonstration against their government’s assault on trade union rights.
To mark the first year since Russian military forces invaded Ukraine, the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) joined an online event to reiterate its support for the Ukrainian working people’s fight for freedom and democracy.
The Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) expresses its full support for the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Unions (KFCITU) and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) as they collectively push back against their government’s continuing assault on trade union rights, particularly the right to associate, organise and collectively bargain.
Three months after BWI passed a resolution before its 5th World Congress calling for the defence of democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean, its trade union affiliates in the region were immediately in the thick of the struggle to safeguard democracy from the attacks of far-right forces.
In the spirit of solidarity, the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) appeals to all its affiliates worldwide to donate to the BWI Solidarity fund for the benefit of all the victims of the deadly and destructive earthquake that hit Türkiye.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, expresses its deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the working people of Türkiye who lost their loved ones as a result of a series of destructive earthquakes that hit the country. Our hearts and thoughts also go to the thousands who were injured by the calamity. We wish them all a quick recovery.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) called for the unconditional release of Tunisian trade union leader Anis Kaabi who was arrested on 1 February 2023 over a strike by toll booth workers.
The Council of Global Unions calls on all affiliated trade unions and workers to join us in a Global Day of Action against Military Rule in Myanmar on 6 February 2023. If the wanton violation human rights is to end in Myanmar, genuine democracy must be fully restored by putting an end to the illegitimate military rule in the country and the recognition of the National Unity Government (NUG).
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), together with its European affiliates, partners and allies, express their highest sense of solidarity to the trade unions and workers who are in the middle of extensive strike actions that hit many countries in Europe.
Marking the second year since a military junta deposed the democratically-elected civilian government of Myanmar, the Council of Global Unions-Pilipinas (CGU-Pilipinas) held a solidarity protest in front of the Myanmar embassy in Makati, Philippines to call for the end of military rule in the country.
Two years have passed since a military junta has launched a coup that toppled Myanmar’s democratically-elected government and usurped power for itself, the Tatmadaw has failed to effectively take over the country. The Burmese people’s democratic resistance continues to grow, defy extraordinary adversities and inspire millions across the globe.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) expresses its deep concern and alarm over the arrest and imprisonment of independent trade union leaders from the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP).
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) released their second joint activity report on the campaigns and actions that they have collectively undertaken in 2022.
Celebrating its 60th year anniversary, the Turkish Road, Building and Construction Workers’ Union (YOL-IS) on 10-11 December held its 12th Ordinary General Assembly in Ankara, Turkiye, gathering more than 400 delegates.
The Histadrut is preparing to lead a nationwide wave of protests on the issue of the cost of living, and as a first step, a new campaign is launched to unite and rally all of Israel’s citizens in the struggle.
Responding to the tragic and fatal accident of a Filipino migrant worker at the World Cup training site in Qatar, the Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) calls for a minute of global silence in his memory, and for all migrant construction workers who died on the job to make the brightest sporting event in the world possible.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on 3 December celebrated its 40th year anniversary at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Limpopo. With the theme “Back to basics,” the event was attended by around a thousand members and guests.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) held on 5-7 December a joint conference on multinational companies (MNCs) which brought together 49 trade union leaders, officials, union representatives and shop stewards from 18 countries.
25 trade unionists from West and East Africa attended a three-day training last 28-30 November on occupational health and safety and labour clauses in the context of organising workers in multinational companies.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) joins the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) of South Africa in mourning the tragic passing of six of its young trade union leaders, who were involved in a fatal road accident on 27 November 2022.
As we are all down to the last month of 2022 and prepare for another year of struggle, BWI deems it necessary to revisit its 5th World Congress last October in Madrid, Spain, particularly the important message of BWI Pan Europe Regional Vice President and EFBWW President Johan Lindholm.
To express its strong sense of solidarity, BWI sent a power-packed delegation to the National Conference of the Construction Forestry Manufacturing Maritime Energy Union (CFMMEU) on 23 November in Melbourne, Australia.
BWI Deputy President Dietmar Schaefer, BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson and Construction Energy Timber Workers Union of Fiji (CETWUF) National Secretary John Alexander on 21 November visited one of the depots of the China Railway No. 5 Engineering Group (CR5EG) in Suva, Fiji
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) is saddened to hear the passing of Elaben Bhatt, founder of the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) on 2 November 2022 at the Ahmedabad, Gujarat State in India. She served as SEWA’s General Secretary from 1972 to 1996, and was the Chancellor of the Gujarat Vidyapith from 7 March 2015 to 19 October 2022.
Renowned Brazilian labour leader Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva returns as president of Brazil after emerging victorious in an extremely contested electoral race that ended the right-wing government of incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.
On 4-7 October, the Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) held its 5th World Congress in Madrid, Spain. Hosted by its affiliates, the UGT-FICA and CCOO-Habitat, the global event was attended by more than 750 delegates coming from various continents in the world, 31 percent of whom were women trade unionists and workers.
The Global Unions, representing 200 million workers worldwide, call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Myanmar, in particular the more than 60 trade unionists who have been unjustly incarcerated by the military junta since its coup in 2021.
BWI announced that Brazil will be hosting BWI’s 6th World Congress in 2026. “From Spain, we will go to Brazil. And within this period, we will continue to organise beyond borders. For the people. For peace. And for the planet,” BWI said.
On the third and last day of its 5th World Congress, the Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) conferred its Rights for All Award to Sandar, a Myanmar woman trade union leader who is at the forefront in the Burmese trade unions’ struggle to reclaim democracy from the military junta.
On the second day of BWI’s 5th World Congress, delegates went down to business and passed numerous resolutions on burning issues and areas of work that the global union will tackle in the next five years. A total of 34 resolutions and 9 statute amendments were carried by the Congress.
On the morning of the second day of BWI’s 5th World Congress, BWI Deputy President for Pan-Europe Johan Lindholm and Justina Jonas-Emvula, General Secretary of the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers' Union ( MANWU), unveiled the global union’s New Strategic Plan for the next five years.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, formally opened its 5th World Congress on 5 October 2022 in Madrid, Spain with a celebration of hard-won victories and higher unities even in the face of multiple crises faced by working people worldwide.
Italy is expected by many observers to form its most right-wing government since World World II after far-right politician Giorgia Meloni won the country’s recent election, making her the country's first female prime minister.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, stands in solidarity with Weyerhaeuser timber workers in Oregon and Washington who are currently fighting the unfair negotiating tactics and practices of their company management.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) is calling on all its affiliates worldwide to organise mass actions from 19 to 23 of September to call on the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to immediately and unconditionally recognise Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG).
Since the 2021 coup that toppled Myanmar's democratic government, the military junta has killed more than 2,000 civilians including trade unionists and children, arrested more than 14,000, and displaced more than 1 million people.
Coinciding with the opening today of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) joins the global clamour for the UNGA to fully recognise the credentials of Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG) as the one and true government of the Myanmar people.
BWI stands in solidarity with its Pakistani affiliates by providing support to the Pakistan Construction Federation (PCF) and the Bhatta Workers Federation (BWF) to facilitate relief efforts to affected communities, including workers’ families in the construction and brick kiln industry.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, condemns in the strongest possible terms the military junta of Myanmar for the brutal execution of four democracy activists who were absurdly accused of “terror acts.”
To honour trade union affiliates and individual members who have demonstrated outstanding achievements and commitment in promoting labour rights, gender equality, democracy, climate justice and social change, the Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) has recently launched the BWI “Power to the People” Awards.
As part of moving towards its 5th Global Congress, BWI Africa and the Middle East held its first hybrid regional assembly on 6 July which was attended by fifty-four (54) participants from 20 different countries, representing 83 percent of its affiliates.
BWI’s regional office for Africa and Middle East in Johannesburg received on 24 May a delegation from the Solidar Suisse composed of Joachim Merz, Solidar Suisse Desk Officer Southern Africa & Bolivia and Beat von Däniken, Solidar Suisse Mozambique Representative.
As BWI moves closer to its 5th World Congress in Madrid, Spain, it launched its official Congress theme and logo to embody the urgent call for workers to take action amidst the various issues threatening the planet, peace and humankind.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), one of the largest labor unions in North America, called for a total ban on all imports of Russian and Belarusian hardwoods and softwoods.
As we mark this year's International Labour Day, let us be reminded of the important role played by trade unions in fighting for social change, and just and lasting peace. In the struggle to defeat organised oppression and tyranny, the organisation of trade unions is our most vital weapon.
The massive exodus of Ukrainians started already during the first week of war. Civil society groups, including trade unions came to the Ukrainian government’s aid to help in the gargantuan humanitarian relief efforts. BWI threw its support to this initiative by giving an initial donation of CHF 4000 so that the trade unions can continue to provide shelter for the refugees.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) suspended all trading certificates in Russia and Belarus and blocked all controlled wood sourcing from the two countries as a response to Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine.
BWI and EFBWW held an online meeting to express their solidarity to Ukraine’s trade unions and workers, particularly to the Ukrainian Building Workers’ Union (PROFBUD), as they bravely and heroically face up to Russia’s military aggression and violence.
Pierre-Yves Dermagne, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister, joined BWI and its Belgian trade union affiliates in a visit at the Dubai Upper Tower construction site being built by BESIX and talked to migrant workers employed there.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) is saddened to hear the news about the passing of Jogendra Nath Tripathy, General Secretary of the Orissa Kendupatra Karmachari Sangha (OKKS) on the early morning of 6 February 2022 at the Dhenkanal, Odisha State in India.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) joins the world in marking the heroism, courage and martyrdom of the people of Myanmar as they continue the struggle for democracy, one year after a military coup toppled their democratically-elected government.
Typhoon Rai (Odette), a category 5 storm, has ravaged a big part of the Philippines. It destroyed thousands of homes, business establishments, farms and government facilities. Thousands of Filipino families have been displaced into evacuation centers, and close to 300 communities (barangays) in the poorest regions of Palawan, Visayas and Mindanao have been submerged in massive flooding.
As the global trade union movement celebrates this month the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson penned a letter to Lee Cheuk-Yan, Hong Kong trade union leader and General Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) released a joint activity report on the campaigns and actions that they have collectively undertaken since 2020 and continued this year.
s we mark this year's International Human Rights Day, BWI prepared a video narrating its numerous efforts to help trade unions worldwide fight global authoritarianism and defend human rights and democracy.
On the occasion of this year's International Human Rights Day, BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson and Building Workers Federation General Secretary Sandar Phyo discuss the latest situation in Myanmar, particularly the struggle to defeat the military junta and for the global community to recognise the National Unity Government (NUG).
Leading to this year’s International Human Rights Day, the Council of Global Unions (CGU) called on the Philippine government to address the alarming increase in red-tagging/terror-tagging, harassment, violence and, most especially, the killings of trade unionists in the country.
Building on the campaign for decent work in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, BWI trade union leaders from France, Romania, Ukraine and Japan met online on 5-6 December. In a “handover conference,” BWI leaders evaluated their campaign strategies on decent work in mega sports events, shared experiences and planned actions for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
SASK, the Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland, in cooperation with the BWI-affiliated Finnish Construction Trade Union (Rakennusliitto) launched a campaign to promote migrant workers’ rights in Qatar leading to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Last Sunday, 7 November, the BWI-affiliated Building and Woodworkers’ Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC) held its 4th National Congress in the country’s province of Kampot. More than 35 delegates participated in the event amidst the continuing restrictions against in-person gatherings in the country.
The Brick Industry Workers’ Union of the Republic of Argentina (UOLRA) and the General Workers’ Union FICA (UGT-FICA) in Catalonia signed a cooperation agreement on 25 October to strengthen their ties and mutual support for one another.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) strongly condemns the fascist attack against the headquarters of the General Confederation of Labour (CGIL) in Rome, Italy in the middle of massive protests against the country’s COVID-19 health pass system, which was hijacked by far-right groups.
BWI mourns the passing of Brother Nor Azlan Yaacob, General Secretary of Timber Employees Union Peninsular Malaysia (TEUPM)last 2 October 2021. He was recovering from a heart and liver illness before his sudden demise. He was 58.
As the United Nations hold its 76th General Assembly, global unions join hands in calling for the recognition of Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG) as the legitimate government to represent the people and the state of Myanmar.
The Council of Global Unions (CGU) will hold a Global Day of Action on 15 September to support the recognition of the National Unity Government (NUG) as the one and true government of the people of Myanmar.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, joins the global community in condemning the filing of sedition charges against the leaders of the Hong Kong Alliance, known for organising the city’s famed annual vigil for victims of the deadly 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, stands in solidarity with the South Korean workers in condemning the arrest of Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) Chairperson Yang Kyeung-soo.
With Myanmar still in the grip of a brutal military junta, the ASEAN +6 Regional Social Dialogue (ARSD) passed on 30 August a resolution calling for the restoration of democracy in the country to advance decent work.
The undersigned Asia-Pacific Regional Organizations of the Global Union Federations (GUFs) express their grave concern that the killing of trade unionists and violence and threats of violence against organizers and trade union leaders continue to escalate in the Philippines.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) is deeply saddened over the passing of former International Federation of Building and Wood Workers (IFBWW) President Roel de Vries on 18 August 2021 in Ijsselstein, Netherlands. He had been ill for many weeks leading to the gradual deterioration of his health.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) joins different trade unions, social movements, political parties and other non-government organisations in the region in condemning the Thai government’s harassment of Building and Wood Industrial Council of Thailand (BWICT) leader Tanaporn Wijan and trade union leaders Suthila Leunkam, Sriprai Nonsee, and Sia Jampathong for exercising their freedom of expression and right to free assembly.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, supports a United Nations Resolution passed by 184 countries on 21 June urging the United States to end its nearly 60 years of economic embargo against Cuba. BWI also joins the international community in calling US President Joe Biden to immediately revoke 243 new blockade measures implemented by the Trump administration, including the more than 50 measures which were imposed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, adds its voice in urging the organisers of the Tokyo Olympics to seriously reconsider holding the international sporting event as a response to the emergence of the deadly Delta variant and Japan’s declaration of a new COVID-19 state of emergency covering the duration of the Olympics.
FIFPRO and Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) have signed a cooperation agreement that will give professional footballers concerned about human rights a platform to support the rights of vulnerable workers before, during and after the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
BWI holds a press conference on 15 July and releases its 2021 Progress Report on the collective journey of migrant workers, global unions and other actors and stakeholders in their quest for the recognition and fulfillment of human and labour rights in Qatar.
With 16 months to go before Qatar hosts the 2022 World Cup, BWI will hold a press conference on 15 July to publicly release its 2021 Progress Report on the collective journey of migrant workers, global unions and other actors and stakeholders in their quest for the recognition and fulfillment of human and labour rights in Qatar.
Last 18 June, UN1A, the biggest trade union in Switzerand, interviewed Phyo Sandar, Assistant General Secretary of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM). UN1A and Sandar talked about the latest political and economic developments in Myanmar since the military staged a coup, the current status of the Burmese people’s struggle for democracy and the role of the international community, particularly the global trade movement, in helping return the country to the path of democracy and civilian rule.
The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) lauded the European Union (EU) for imposing a third round of sanctions against Burmese politicians, personalities and entities linked to the military junta.
The BWI-affiliated Thamizhaga Kattida Thozhilalargal Madhiya Sangam (TKTMS) and the state-level Migrant Workers Rights Coalition (MWRC) urged the Non-Resident Tamils’ (NRT) Welfare Department to constitute the long-delayed NRT Board as mandated by the NRT Act of 2011 to protect the rights of Tamil migrant workers.
BWI’s Belgian trade union affiliates on 7 June met with the Royal Belgian Football Association (URBSFA) in Brussels to discuss ways on how the latter can help in promoting migrant workers’ rights and improving their working and living conditions, especially those working in Qatar.
17 months before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, players and members of the Norwegian football team and the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF) wore t-shirts bearing the message “fair play for migrant workers” before its game against Greece on 6 June.
Seeking national unity and the return of democratic reforms gives hope. However, hope that is not nourished will die. National governments and international organisations, by recognising the NUG, can feed that hope and help make a bright future possible for the people of Burma.
Global Union Federations actively working in the Asia-Pacific region released a factsheet on the worsening labour rights situation in military-ruled Myanmar. It details the widespread labour rights abuses of the military junta since its appalling power grab last February.
In the spirit of its World Board Resolution adopted on 27 April, BWI joined the Council of Global Unions (CGU) in expressing its commitment to the Burmese trade unions’ call to unseat the military junta’s representative in the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which will be having its annual International Labour Conference (ILC) in June.
BWI adds its voice to the growing international condemnation of the violence committed by the Israeli government in occupied East Jerusalem over the past few days and extends solidarity to the people of Palestine that have been subjected to systematic violence Israeli.
As more and more national football teams and players voice out their support for migrant workers’ rights leading to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Byggnads Chairperson Johan Lindholm welcomed the athletes’ growing awareness over the plight of migrant workers, especially those who laboured in the construction of the tournament’s infrastructure.
Germany’s National football Team (DFB) has just issued a statement on the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In its position paper, DFB said that it is committed to respecting all internationally recognised human rights, especially in the context of international matches and tournaments. It said that sports can build bridges to promote human rights.
BWI-affiliated SERBUK and different social movements and cause-oriented organisations staged a solidarity action for Myanmar in time for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders’ Meeting on 24 April which was hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta.
BWI condemns without reservation and in the strongest terms the arrest of Burmese trade union leader Mi Mi Aung by the military junta. Mi Mi Aung, who is the finance officer of the Hmawbe Brick Factory Union, an affiliate of the Building and Wood Workers Federation of Myanmar (BWFM), was reportedly arrested at her residence in Hmawbe.
BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson reports on how trade unions have become "beacons of hope" amidst a global health crisis. He outlines BWI's call for safe and efficient vaccines for all workers, decent jobs and wages, and a sustainable, progressive and worker-responsive economic recovery program to not only to win the battle against COVID-19, but also win the war for a new and better world.
Trade unions have been fundamental to building functioning democracies for over a century. Trade unions can only fully and freely function in democracies. It is also true that democracy cannot be complete without trade unions. In other words, there are no trade unions without democracy, and no democracy without trade unions.
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) General Secretary Lee Cheuk Yan and four other democracy leaders received prison sentences for organising and participating in a pro-democracy rally in 2019 which was deemed illegal under Hong Kong’s new National Security Law.
The Building and Woodworkers International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, supported the creation of Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG) as a counter to the country’s brutal military junta.
Sharing various initiatives to promote the responsible recruitment of migrant workers in Qatar’s construction industry, BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson called on the country’s hospitality industry, particularly hotels that will be used for the 2022 World Cup, to adopt measures that will secure labour rights.
BWI lauded the German national football team for its strong public support for migrant workers’ rights after its players displayed the words “human rights” spelled out across the t-shirts they wore when they lined up during their qualifying match against Iceland in March.
A court in Hong Kong convicted Lee Cheuk Yan, General Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), and several others for organising and taking part in a democracy rally deemed illegal by the Chinese Special Administrative Region’s National Security Law.
The Building and Wood Workers International (BWI) and the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM) appeal to your kind hearts to donate generously to the “Myanmar Strike Fund” intended to sustain and strengthen the Burmese trade unionists’ struggle for democracy against the country’s brutal military junta.
BWI, representing 12 million workers worldwide, stands in solidarity with the Belarusian people, especially the trade unionists and workers, as they mark Belarus' Freedom Day on 25 March. We join them as they continue their struggle for democracy. We add our voices in calling for an end to state violence and repression, particularly those committed against trade unions, the release of all political prisoners and the conduct of new and fair elections.
Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya met with BWI and fellow global labour unions on 10 March in Switzerland as part of efforts to build international pressure for strongman Alexander Lukashenko to relinquish power.
BWI expresses it full solidarity and support to the Construction Metal Wooden and Related Industries Employees Union (CMWEU) and the Confederation des Travailleurs des Secteurs Publique et Privé (CTSP) which were sued by the Hyvec Construction Ltd. in retaliation for simply fulfilling their roles in protecting the rights and welfare of workers.
A Brazilian court on 8 March has cleared criminal convictions against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, opening the window for the popular trade union leader to run in next year’s presidential election.
In the latest international efforts to support the Burmese people’s struggle for democracy, the European Commission (EC) reprotedly imposed sanctions on military-owned companies in Myanmar operating in the timber industry.
BWI expresses its full support for the extended nationwide work stoppage launched on 8 March by Myanmar’s different trade unions and the broad Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) to defend democracy from the military junta.
BWI joins over 200 civil society organisations in urging international financial institutions (IFIs) to immediately freeze loans and other financial assistance linked to the military junta amounting to an estimated USD 11 Billion.
On 22 February (Monday), Myanmar's biggest trade unions and multitude of workers will launch a nationwide general strike to defend democracy from the military junta. Millions are expected to join the strike dubbed as the "Five Twos" revolution (22.2.2021).
Myanmar’s military’s attaches have the opportunity to change the course of Myanmar’s history. We call on them to reject the military junta and join the people in holding it accountable. We call on them to be the genuine army of the Myanmar people. We call on them to defend their people and country’s democracy.
PEFC is extremely concerned about the recent developments in Myanmar. In response, it is seeking assurances from the Myanmar Forest Certification Committee (MFCC - the national member for PEFC in Myanmar) and the one PEFC chain of custody certified company in the country that the rights of workers and trade unions are not being infringed.
Ten Global Unions representing more than 200 million workers from across the world call on unions globally to ramp up pressure on governments and corporations to target the commercial interests of the Myanmar military junta.
BWI and EFBWWW, representing more than 12 million workers, including 2 million workers in the construction, woodworking and forestry across the world and in Europe, are calling on the European authorities and institutions to take immediate and urgent action to put pressure on Myanmar’s military junta and its commercial interests.
“The future is in implementation.” This was the consensus of the key actors pushing for labour reforms in Qatar at a forum hosted by BWI’s two-day Global Sports Conference on labour rights and the 2022 FIFA World Cup held November of last year.
Ensuring workers’ health and safety are core issues that trade unions consistently fight for. With the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a growing and vocal clamour for a new way of working through strengthened health and safety measures at the workplaces.
Last year, BWI held a successful two-day Global Sports Conference on labour rights and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The conference showcased exciting sessions that discussed various issues and concerns on migrant workers’ rights. One of these was a session that went over BWI’s cooperation with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) on labour rights in Qatar in the context of the World Cup 2020.
Trade union defence of democracy is fundamental. Trade unions require the oxygen of democracy if they are to flourish. If democracy is to live and thrive, trade unions will join with others to make that happen.
BWI condemns in the strongest possible terms the arrest of Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) Chairperson Carol Ng and at least 50 other democracy activists under Hong Kong’s national security law (NSL).
As we start 2021, I take this opportunity to send best wishes to you for the New Year and reaffirm the commitment of BWI to global solidarity as we take on the challenges that are being carried forward from 2020 and the new ones that we will face in 2021.
On International Migrants Day, IOE and BWI publish a joint statement on the essential role of migrant workers during the pandemic and the need to provide greater social protection to them in these uncertain times.
The Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) and the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) are jointly commemorating International Migrant Workers Day on 18 December under the theme ‘We are all Migrants’.
BWI, as part of its long-standing sports and decent work campaign, has defended the rights and conditions of construction workers involved in building facilities for Olympic Games just as we have with FIFA facilitates.
After BWI’s Indian and Romanian trade union affiliates joined hands in helping six stranded Indian migrant workers in Romania, the said workers were finally repatriated and returned to their home state of Tamil Nadu on 16 November.
The Council of Global Unions (CGU) will discuss the latest human rights developments in the Philippines, especially with the issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the anti-worker Terror Law, and how unions can utilise international instruments to force the Duterte government to uphold and respect human and trade union rights.
BWI, through its General Secretary Ambet Yuson, joins its American trade union affiliates in celebrating their historic electoral victory, which it hopes will create ripples of positive change worldwide and build the ecessary momentum to defend democracy, promote gender equality and secure human and trade union rights against the spread of authoritarian populism.
As part of its contribution in analysing the migration flow in Europe before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, BWI released a discussion paper to identify the main migration trends in the region which would serve as guideposts for trade unions to pursue better policies to protect migrant workers’ rights.
"We may be observing physical distancing, but workers will never be distant from one another.” This was the statement issued by BWI Latin American and Carribean Representative Nilton Fretias after BWI-affiliated trade unions in the region released two series of “workers’ action bulletins” in August.
As Filipino workers mark Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law 48 years ago, Global Unions add their voices in opposing the draconian Anti-Terror Law an condemning the massive human rights abuses under the Duterte regime.
The CGU welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament (EP) of the “resolution on the situation in the Philippines, including the case of Maria Ressa”. The resolution provides examples of the degeneration of democracy, gross violations of human rights, and rampant violence and intimidation during the rule of President Duterte.
In another example of working class solidarity and cooperation, BWI’s trade union affiliates in India and Romania joined hands in working with authorities to help Indian migrant workers, who were reportedly stranded in the European state.
This was the message sent by BWI to all its affiliates, partners, allies and friends as it encouraged them to donate to the people of Beirut, especially its workers, who were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and a prolonged economic crisis that decimated millions of jobs, and recently, a social unrest that was triggered by the catastrophic Beirut explosion that injured and killed many people.
BWI, on behalf of its 12 million trade union members worldwide, and EFBWW, representing 2 million trade union members from 34 European countries, express their solidarity with the brave trade unionists and workers of Belarus who went on strike and organised different forms of democratic and peaceful actions to protest against the alleged massive electoral fraud in their country.
BWI welcomes landmark achievements in Qatar that were signed into law on 30 August 2020; introducing a minimum wage for migrant workers and allowing them to change jobs without requiring their employers’ permission to do so.
For more than 20 days people in Belarus have been protesting massive electoral fraud. Peaceful protestors have endured violence and repression and many have been arrested. Workers in Belarus joined the growing democratic movement and went on strike, organising protest actions to demand an end to the violence and new elections in the country.
With the COVID-19 pandemic worsening the plight of many Ukrainian migrant workers in EU countries, PROFBUD, the construction workers union of Ukraine held a multi-stakeholder conference on 19 August in Odessa to discuss and address the situation.
BWI, on behalf of its 12 million trade union members worldwide, expresses its full solidarity and support to Belarus’ brave trade unionists and workers who went on strike and launched massive peaceful actions to protest the alleged massive electoral fraud in their country.
To address the plight of millions of migrant workers who have been repatriated or are awaiting repatriation as a result of pandemic-induced unemployment, BWI endorsed the call of a coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) and trade unions for an “urgent justice mechanism” to respond to the migrant crisis.
BWI denounces the American Peace Plan (Deal of the Century). It is an unwelcome intervention that is a departure from the rules and principles of international law and disregards internationally accepted processes.
Every year since joint inspections began in Qatar based on the memorandum of Understanding signed in late 2016 between BWI and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy of Qatar, established for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Joint Working Group (JWG) has made a report.
Workers at Wendt Corporation, a plant based in Buffalo New York succeeded in winning their two-year fight for a collective bargaining agreement. The workers joined the Ironworkers Union (Local 576) in 2017 and they have been battling the management for its first contract. Finally, this past August the union and the management agreed to an agreement after nearly 60 sessions of negotiations. During the negotiations the Wendt management harassed union members and threatened to lay-off workers.
The global union federation BWI has today released a second report highlighting how Tokyo 2020 construction workers lives are still at risk, while rampant subcontracting is putting downward pressure on workers’ wages.
In June 2018, at the Holcim El Salvador plant in Metapán in the north of El Salvador, eight leaders from the first Board of Directors of SICCA [Union for the Cement Industry and Allied Workers] were dismissed the day after having presented the union to the Ministry of Labour.
Today, on the opening of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the BWI and its 12 million members around the world express condolences to the families of the twenty-one construction workers who died during construction of World Cup stadiums.
On 5 June 2018, the Swiss National Compact Point (NCP) responsible for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises concluded its follow-up on the BWI complaint against FIFA that focused on the 2020 World Cup Games in Qatar.
For the first time, the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) commemorated International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) in Qatar by supporting the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) 2nd National OSH Conference and participating in various site-level activities to raise awareness on safety and health.
Today, as the 2018 Winter Olympics begin in PyeongChang, South Korea, the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Unions (KFCITU) have released a joint report outlining violations of construction workers’ rights throughout the Olympic construction process.
A Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) delegation met this week with FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura who was appointed by the FIFA Council at the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico. Representing BWI were: Ambet Yuson, General Secretary; Johan Lindholm Byggnads, Sweden; Dietmar Schaefers, IG BAU, Germany; Pierre Cuppens, ACV-CSC, Belgium; Steinar Krogstad, Fellesforbundet, Norway; Gail Cartmail and Jim Kennedy, UNITE; UK.
The FIFA Human Rights Advisory Board which includes Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of BWI met this week and issued the following statement:
We welcomed our first day and a half of substantive discussions with the FIFA Administration, including the Secretary-General, about FIFA’s human rights responsibilities. It was an important opportunity to establish a general understanding of FIFA’s human rights efforts to date, and it was a forthright and frank discussion.
The first joint inspections on 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ projects have been carried out by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and the Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI), the global trade union for construction workers.
According to the International Labour Organization there are over 150 million migrants in the global workforce. Migrant workers are essential part of the global economy and without them, entire economies would collapse.
On 2 June 2016, 15 members of the Tower Crane Operators Branch of the Korean Construction Workers Union (KCWU) affiliated to the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Union (KFCITU), BWI’s affiliate in South Korea, were found guilty under the criminal charges of “blackmail” and “obstruction of business” for merely engaging in collective bargaining negotiations.