Recommend this page

Stay up to date on news and events in the BWI. Join our email news service!

What we do

Today, the pace of globalization and concentration in our industries has become breathtaking.

Construction work is mobile and involves cross-border work with construction companies often using labour hiring companies.There is more competition and social dumping because of cheaper labour imported from neighbouring countries. Casual work, sub-contracting and illegal work is increasing. Workers are often very badly paid and treated.

Construction workers in industrialised countries are often qualified and reasonably well paid, and it is clear that there is an increase in productivity and quality with qualified construction workers. In developing countries, construction workers do the lowest skilled, lowest paid work, and they often work on daily contracts. In these countries the need for training and re-training schemes is enormous.

Wood workers are today also facing increased global competition because of social dumping. There are many skilled wood workers around the world and therefore it is quite easy for companies to transfer production. New technology is spreading.

The Forestry sector is also using more and more new technology. Sub-contracting is also a common phenomenon and forestry workers are often very much exploited by ruthless timber companies. But the forestry industry has also become one of the best examples of the possibility to put global pressure on sustainability as well as on decent labour standards. Certification schemes are now developing and guaranteeing a long-term sustainable forestry planning that also embraces good labour standards. The control of certificates is done by professional certifiers, and forestry workers often have to upgrade their competence.

The health and safety conditions in our industries are often far from satisfactory and often the work is very dangerous.

Exploitation of fundamental workers' rights is not acceptable. Therefore, we campaign for the promotion of sustainable practices. In this connection, we urge governments, companies, trade unions and development agencies to work together in order to achieve this objective. We also push for trade union representatives to be involved on equal footing in social and tripartite dialogues in all countries.

We promote the three pillars of sustainable industrial development - economic viability, environmental protection and social responsibility and believes that a sustainable working life is a pre-condition. Sustainable working life means decent pay and working conditions, a meaningful job with prospects, a good working environment, continous human resource development and secure employment.