BWI OnLine – April 06, 2009

BWI, IG Metall and Office Furniture Manufacturer Wilkhahn Sign Agreement on Worldwide Minimum Working Conditions

The Building and Wood Workers’ International, IG Metall and Wilkhahn, an office furniture manufacturer based in Bad Münder, signed an International Framework Agreement (IFA) on 13 February in Frankfurt. The agreement commits the company to the observance of minimum standards for the working conditions of all its employees at its domestic and especially also foreign workplaces.

Anita Normark, BWI General Secretary, said: “Wilkhahn shows that globally active small and medium-sized companies can assume international commitments and respect international labour standards. BWI has international framework agreements also with Faber-Castell, Schwan-Stabilo, and Staedtler.”

Wilkhahn employs some 600 people at three manufacturing sites (Germany, Spain, Australia) and at fifteen distributorships, including 440 employees at its headquarters in Bad Münder.

Related information

Changes of Staff at BWI

Changes at BWI Headquarters

As of April 1st, Aude Moureau was hired in Geneva as responsible for Administration and Affiliation fees. Aude is from France. Aude can be reached by email
Aude replaces Sylviane Decollogny who quit after 18 years of dedicated service.

Changes in Latin America and Caribbean

On the same date, we hired Ernesto Marval as Regional Education Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean. Ernesto previously worked for ICFTU-ORIT. Ernesto is from Venezuela. You can contact him at

On 15 March 2009, Richinel Ilario started to work as Coordinator of the Caribbean Project, coordinating Bermuda, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago. Richinel is also the President of SEBI, affiliated to the BWI. His email is

Changes in Europe

As from 13 April 2009, Jasmin Redzepovic will work as Project Coordinator of the new BWI Sarajevo project office for South Eastern Europe. The BWI has closed down its office in Bulgaria as Boyko Atanassov left the organisation.

We wish the new staff a lot of success!

Spain: FECOMA Congress Focused on the Need to Stimulate Sustainable Infrastructure Development

Last week’s three day Congress of FECOMA, the Spanish Construction and Wood Trade Union, gathered around 300 delegates in Torremolinos. Held every four years, this was FECOMA’s 7th Delegate’s Congress, and invited guests included the recently elected General Secretary of the Confederation of Comisiones Obreras, Ignacio Fernández Toxo, as well as the leadership of CC.OO.’s sister trade union in the construction and metal sector, MCA-UGT.

Several large Spanish companies sent their representatives, underlining the consolidation of a number of important Collective Bargaining Agreements and of social dialogue in our sectors in Spain. International delegates also participated, and these included Fiona Murie, representing the BWI, and Sam Hagglund, the General Secretary of the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers.

Contributions centred on implementing the Law controlling subcontracting in construction (Ley Reguladora de la Suncontracción), FECOMA’s new Construction and Wood Foundation (FCM) a recently established training foundation, and on the current campaign to reduce the retirement age for construction workers to 60 years of age.

Debates focussed on the need to stimulate sustainable infrastructure development, including public housing, and investment in Public Works as part of the Fiscal Stimulus Policies in Spain. Employment Policies, Skills Training, organising and Health and Safety were the constant themes throughout the three days of high quality and upbeat discussions.

FECOMA General Secretary Fernando Serrano was re-elected by an overwhelming majority to serve for a further four year term.


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