More than two thirds of the total workforce at the Cement Fuheis Plant suffer from asthma, undoubtedly related to their exposure to dust at the workplace. To make matters worse, workers who do not pass health tests are not entitled to paid sick leave or paid sick retirement. These findings of an independently-conducted research raised concerns among BWI affiliates for these workers as respiratory illness increases the risk of complications should a worker contract COVID-19.
BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson said that BWI will support Jordan’s General Trade Union of Construction Workers (GTUCW) to engage with the LafargeHolcim. “These health issues are too serious to be ignored when there is a life-threatening pandemic. These workers have a right to a healthy and safe workplace.”
Among the list of labour issues found at three LafargeHolcim plants in Jordan is more evidence of the multinational’s policy to replace permanent workers with contract workers. These workers are not offered permanent contracts even when they have worked for more than a year and are not entitled to overtime compensation, health insurance, housing loan and other benefits. Labour is also supplied by sub-contractors that have poor labour practices and working conditions.
The research was carried out by Profundo in November 2019 at the Lafarge Jordan Cement Fuheis Plant, Lafarge Jordan Cement Rashdiyah plant and the Lafarge Concrete Jordan Sweileh plant.