Strike threat stops labour subcontracting at HeidelbergCement


The threat of a strike action by ninety one (91) workers prevented a HeidelbergCement subsidiary in Belgium from implementing labour subcontracting schemes. 

The workers, employed at CBR Cement’s Antoing plant, reportedly planned to go on strike to protest being overworked, as well as the unnecessary involvement of external companies in the middle of the pandemic. 

An agreement between the union and management was reached after several months of back and forth. When the plant resumes its normal operations at the second quarter of this year, the process of recruiting multi-skilled workers will begin. It will initially start with fixed-term contracts, with the company management committing to find permanent employment slots at the end of the period.

Pierre Cuppens, Chair of BWI’s cement network, said that ACV-BiE and FGTB joined forces to persuade HeidelbergCement to reconsider its subcontracting practices in Belgium. 

“This sets a precedent and is a symbol of hope for workers around the world. It underscores the importance of global solidarity, especially in times of crisis,” Cuppens said. 

CBR is a subsidiary of the HeidelbergCement Group, the world's leading producer of aggregates and a key player in the cement and ready-mix concrete sectors. Its Antoing plant uses limestone from nearby quarries as a raw material to produce 900 kilotonnes of Portland cement clinker each year for the group's cement plants in Ghent, Rotterdam and IJmuiden.