Bosnia and Herzegovina: Union elects new leaders, pushes for full CBA implementation

On 14 May, the Extraordinary Assembly of the Trade Union of Construction and Building Materials Industry of Bosnia and Herzegovina (SGI IGM BiH) elected members of its Supervisory Board and the Statutory Commission, and verified the mandate of members of its Executive Board.

The assembly, which was attended by elected delegates from local trade union company level branches, elected Nihad Suljić of the Cement Lukavac Trade Union local branch as President of the Assembly of the Trade Union of Construction and Building Materials Industry of BiH.

Delegates to the assembly also agreed that local company-level trade union branches and their bodies must work together to improve communication channels and advance trade union work. They said that these will help in enhancing the legal, economic and material status of SGI IGM BiH members. 

The full and consistent application of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed in September of last year on the rights and obligations of employers and workers in the federation’s construction industry was also identified as a top priority for this year. 

“Workers in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s construction and building materials industry and in different parts of the world are COVID-19 frontliners who ensured that the necessary infrastructure, housing and other projects are continued. Informed and trained workers on workers’ rights and their jobs have the power to make changes for the better. We will pay special attention to the training of union members and campaign for the protection of their health and safety, income and social welfare,” SGI IGM BiH President Murat Škamo said.

Škamo added that the union will insist that employers pass risk assessment acts and improve working conditions in order to avoid unwanted consequences for workers and their families. He explained that currently, employers have shown no understanding in harmonising their internal acts, including the Book of Rules with the Labour Law and the CBA on the Rights and Obligations of Employers and Workers in FBiH’s construction industry. He said that the union will intensify its work and activities toward the labour inspections at the cantonal and FBIH levels.

Škamo thanked the delegates for their trust, and expressed how proud he was of his associates. He called on everyone to continue building unities, and extending respect and solidarity to all members of the union. He made a commitment to actively participate and give his full contribution in all of the processes concerning the interest of union members and the survival of the trade union itself. 

For their part, BWI Assistant Education Secretary Jasmin Redžepović and Trade Union of Forestry, Wood and Paper Processing of BiH President Lejla Ćatić greeted the delegates and expressed their support for the implementation of their signed CBA and the struggle for workers’ rights in the construction and building materials industry.

The assembly took place in Sarajevo.  It was attended by 22 delegates representing workers from the construction industry and the building material industry, including a number of multinational companies, like Heidelberg Cement (Cementara Kakanj).