BWI’s 5th World Congress elects new Presidium

The 5th World Congress of the Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) elected its new Presidium that will lead the global union in the next five years.


Per-Olof Sjoo, of the Swedish Forest and Wood Workers' Union, was reelected as BWI President together with Ambet Yuson as General Secretary. 

The Congress has also elected five (5) Deputy Presidents in line with the approved statutory amendment to the Presidium’s composition. The 5 Deputy Presidents are: Saul Mendez Rodriguez, General secretary of the National Union of Construction and Similar Workers (SUNTRACS) in Panama, Pierre Cuppens, Secretary General of the ACV Bouw Industrie en Energie, Gail Cartmail, UNITE Assistant General Secretary, Dietmar Schafers of IG BAU and Sandar, a Myanmar woman trade union leader, who is recipient of BWI’s Rights for All Award.  

Rodriguez lauded the regional and gender balance in the election of the five (5) Deputy Presidents. “It is great to have the unanimous support of the global south in the leadership structure. I am sure that together we can continue fighting for decent work, a better world and gender equality.” 

For his part, Yuson thanked the Congress delegates for re-electing him BWI General Secretary and proceeded to invite BWI’s Global Staff to share the stage with him. “Thank you. It has been a collective effort – I have always relied on all of you and grateful for your unrelenting support and I shall continue to count on you in the coming years,” he said.  

A four-member Auditors Committee was also unanimously elected by the Congress. They are: Fatimah Mohammad, PEFC Board member and Vice President of the Union of Forestry Employees Sarawak, Hege Espe, Fellesforbundet National Secretary, Michael von Felten of UN1A and Josef Muchitsch of the GBH.

The Congress also elected BWI’s new World Council with Titular and Substitute Members from 29 country groups.