BWI and EFBWW strengthen cooperation, hold conference on MNCs

The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) and the European Federation of Building and Wood Workers (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. 

Addressing the event, BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson said that trade unions are witnessing rapid changes in the political and economic fronts. He reasonably assumed that it will have an impact on MNCs’ behavior, and consequently on workers’ rights.

“We have to assess this change and be prepared for the future. We also have to take into consideration climate change and technological and digital developments. We have to understand the future of work for workers of multinational corporations,” he said. 

BWI and EFBWW strive to work more closely together on common strategic challenges for workers’ and trade union rights in Europe and globally. They said that many MNCs operate in Europe, and European MNCs engage in business globally. This compelled BWI and EFBWW to identify MNCs as a priority area of cooperation.


The two federations reckoned the importance of joining forces to share information, develop joint strategies, and agree on tools to effectively engage MNCs to defend the interests and jobs of workers all over Europe, and promote social democracy at workplaces. This cooperation covers MNCs operating in the building, woodworking, forestry and allied industries and trades in general, Chinese MNCs, and the cement sector, in particular, European global players. 

The conference discussed the latest trends and developments regarding MNCs, with particular focus on the possible scenario changes of MNCs’ strategies in the context of current global economic and political shifts. BWI and EFBWW have collectively analysed and evaluated their actions, methods, instruments and strategies related to MNCs and adjusted them accordingly. 

On behalf of the EFBWW, Claudio Sottile, Chair of the EWC coordination group, lauded the firm commitment of both groups to work together. 

“This is the first joint BWI-EFBWW Conference in many years, and it showed the commitment of both international federations to work together to ensure that MNCs respect workers’ rights. We are aware of the rapid changes that are taking place within MNCs which will seriously impact workers’ well-being. BWI and EFBWW are stronger together to fight for decent working conditions o workers employed by MNCs,” Sottile said.