BWI OnLine – March 16, 2009

Royal Volker Wessels Stevin NV – Worksite Organisation and Health and Safety Standards on Construction Sites are Rather Good, says BWI

On 17-18 February 2009 a BWI trade union – VolkerWessels management delegation (reference group) visited several construction sites in London.

  • The G-Park in Sittingbourne where the main contractor is FITZPATRICK which is owned by VolkerWessels
  • The Skanska GrantRail Joint venture Docklands Light Railway project owned by VolkerWessels.
  • The construction of the Athletes Olympic village 2012 where FITZPATRICK and GrantRail are involved.

Royal Volker Wessels Stevin NV (VolkerWessels) and BWI signed an international framework agreement (IFA) to promote and protect workers’ rights. Both parties agreed to work together to verify the effective application of the following social criteria in the activities and undertaking entered into by VolkerWessels.

The reference group mainly discussed the working time issue and the treatment of contractors and subcontractors employees on the sites. The overall impression on worksite organisation and health and safety standards are rather good.

The BWI delegation – representatives from FNV Bouw, CNV Bouw and Unite Construction section – appreciated the open and co-operative attitude of the management on all sites.

 Zimbabwe: GAPWUZ called on men and women to unite for International Women’s Day 2009

GAPWUZ from Zimbabwe reports on International Women’s Day 2009. Different organizations representatives from Zimbabwe expressed the need for unity among men, women and children as stated in this year’s theme “Men and women unite to end violence against women and girls.” GAPWUZ president Manjemanje Munyanyi said “It is sad to note that there are still a lot of women who are victimized because of their gender and we are working with all the relevant organizations to end such a phenomenon”. GAPWUZ remains committed to creating an environment that is favorable to women in workplaces and at home.

For Zimbabwe, this theme is very critical as it reflects on what has been going in the country during the past year where political instability exposed a lot of women and children to untold suffering as violence spread across the country.

More than 4000 women and children were affected last year when ZANU (PF) unleashed a spate of violence in the run up to the June 27 presidential elections. This violence was not only physical as a large number of these were exposed to psychological torture after being left homeless and could not access their special sanitary requirements among other basic needs.

Many cases show that the violence against women and children was perpetrated by men, who in this year’s theme should now unite with the women to end this violence.

The event, which was marked by a jovial mood as women and men danced to music, was climaxed by a drama performed by GAPWUZ members.

Now it is time for men and women both in government and civic society to spearhead the initiative to have unity of purpose against violence.