BWI – February 26, 2009

Strengthening Social Dialogue in Serbia

The seminar “Strengthening Social Dialogue in Serbia” was organized in Belgrade from 8 to 11 February 2009. Organised in cooperation with BWI affiliates ACV-BI from Belgium and CNV hb from the Netherlands, the participants had an opportunity to learn more on the history of Belgium and Dutch trade union movement and organising in these countries.

Participants shared experiences on organising new members in Belgium and the Netherlands, social funds, collective bargaining and negotiating techniques, European institutions – Serbia is applying to the European Union – and on the world financial crisis. In addition, participants had the opportunity to apply their fresh knowledge into a case study.

Were involved the Autonomous Trade Union of Road Maintenance Workers of Serbia, Construction and Industry of Construction Material Trade Union of Serbia and the Autonomous Trade Union of Forestry and Woodworks of Serbia. Each union had sent eight representatives.

Guy Bonnewijn represented ACV Belgium and Bert van der Spek CNV hb from the Netherlands.


ILO Construction Meeting Sets Key Recommendations

Last week saw the first ILO Global Dialogue Forum for the Construction Sector, entitled “Achieving Decent Work in Construction through Procurement and Contracts”. BWI affiliates took part in the two days of discussion, representing Uganda, India, the United States, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.

Round Tables discussed ILO Convention 94, Labour Clauses in Public Contracts; Labour Clauses in World Bank Procurement of Works; the International Finance Corporation Performance Standard 2 on Labour Clauses for Infrastructure Projects; and the Local Governments’ Role in Achieving Decent Work Through Procurement.

A report is expected very soon from the ILO and this will be submitted to the highest decision making authority, the ILO Governing Body, when it meets in March. Key recommendations include closer cooperation on Labour Standards with the International Financial Institutions and more support for national and local governments and other actors in the construction industry on implementing Labour Clauses in construction projects to improve employment and working conditions.


Solidarity Campaign Guatemala: Member of the BWI brutally attacked and death threats against General Secretary of SINCGS-G

On 7 February 2009, Clemente Rubén Perez Huinac, member of BWI affiliate in Guatemala, Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Construcción y Servicios de Guatemala (SINCS-G, National Construction Union of Workers of Guatemala), was brutally attacked by unknown individuals who left him with cut wounds to different parts of the body – he received three injuries to the throat, and the tip of one of his fingers was cut off. Threats were also levelled against Julio Díaz, general secretary of SINCS-G. According to Anita Normark, General Secretary of the Building and Wood Workers International “These facts demonstrate that in Guatemala unionists still do not have the freedom to carry out their union tasks without risking their life and that the government does not respect ILO conventions it has ratified.”

In a letter addressed to the authorities, the BWI demands a full and immediate investigation into the attack on Clemente Rubén Pérez Huinac and the threats levelled against Julio Antonio Díaz, the union’s general secretary, as well as into the murder, on 23 December 2008, of Armando Sánchez, the union’s lawyer and legal advisor. The BWI also called to ensure that all those responsible are identified and brought to justice.

The BWI has launched a solidarity campaign. Please ACT NOW and SIGN our solidarity campaign!