BWI welcomes newly elected ILO Director General

The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, welcomes the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) newly elected Director General, Gilbert F. Houngbo from Togo, whose term will officially begin on 1 October 2022. 

Together with its partners and allies, BWI looks forward to working closely with Mr. Houngbo on vital labour issues and concerns, especially on the need for the universal ratification of ILO Convention No. 190 to eliminate gender-based violence and harassment in workplaces, and the global call for the ILO to recognise occupational health and safety as a fundamental right of all workers. 

Likewise, BWI expects to have a productive working relationship with Mr. Houngbo on the global and collective efforts to fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring that the workers’ right to decent work and wages, as well as the aspiration for gender equality and a just transition to a green economy, are fully integrated and protected in all recovery plans. 

Furthermore, BWI hopes that the ILO under Mr. Houngbo will build on the various initiatives and campaigns by the global trade union movement to protect workers’ rights, lives, freedom and democracy from modern authoritarians such as the cases in Myanmar, Hong Kong, Belarus, Colombia, the Philippines and Ukraine.   

Lastly, this early, BWI would like to thank outgoing Director-General Guy Ryder for his leadership of the ILO since 2012. Under his watch, BWI and other global unions and federations were able to secure important victories and achievements in the struggle for better labour rights and welfare.