India: Union inks MoUs with construction and real estate developers

The TKTMS, a BWI affiliate in Southern India, inked two memorandum of understanding (MoU) with various construction and real estate developers in July as part of its sustained effort to institutionalise its partnerships, cooperation and social dialogue with different stakeholders, promote a green and sustainable construction industry and further empower women workers. 

Last 23 July, the TKTMS signed a MoU with the Confederation of Indian Industry – Indian Green Building Council (CII – IGBC) and the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It coincided with the 30th meeting of the BWI-Indian Affiliates Council (IAC). The MoU aims to foster cooperation among various stakeholders, initiate regular interactions and exchange of information, organise joint trainings and promote advocacies on government policies and programmes that push for green and sustainable buildings.  The MoU was made possible by the TKTMS-led Construction and Real Estate Industry Coalition (CRIC), which includes various stakeholders such as contractors, builders, civil engineers, architects, construction material manufacturers, construction material transport owners, real estate developers, machine owners/operators and construction workers. Part of the agreement includes a commitment from the IGBC to organise training programmes and awareness sessions for CRIC members across Tamil Nadu State. The signed parties will also support and participate in each other’s major events to strengthen partnerships and collaborations. The MoU is said to be an important step to engage and negotiate with the industry to decarbonise the built environment and to capacitate trade unions on green initiatives for the built environment. 

Also, in the same day, TKTMS signed a separate MoU with the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) to promote employment for trained and certified women painters located in its member sites in Chennai. The MoU was sealed amidst the declining participation of women in the labour force and the urgent need to undertake corrective measures to provide gainful employment opportunities for skilled women workers in the construction sector. The MoU is expected to provide a significant boost to the efforts made by the union on post-training employment linkages for women construction workers and its joint undertaking with the State Construction Workers Welfare Board to register women workers. 

“Acknowledging the newly-forged alliances and partnerships amidst a global climate crisis and the need to empower women construction workers, TKTMS President Ponkumar Ponnuswamy said that the MoUs were the products of sustained efforts and dialogues with two important stakeholders in the construction sector, the IGBC and CREDAI. “Buildings are one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions, and all stakeholders, including trade unions, have to come together to promote green buildings and green jobs. The MoU with the IGBC will help in raising awareness, and organise trainings and joint policy advocacies to create an environment that promotes and supports sustainable buildings. In the same manner, the MoU with CREDAI is expected to result in gainful and improved employability for skilled women construction workers in the State.”