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Unions worldwide demand LafargeHolcim honours its commitment for a global agreement
73 union leaders from 39 countries addressed a joint letter to CEO, Jan Jenisch, demanding the company honour its commitment and sign a global framework agreement.
In their letter, leaders of unions representing workers at LafargeHolcim reminded the company’s leadership of a signed memorandum of understanding in July 2017 with IndustriALL Global Union and Building and Wood Workers’ International, in which the company firmly committed to signing a global framework agreement in January 2018. However, later LafargeHolcim informed global unions that it “had revisited the need for a formal Global Framework Agreement”.
Scores of workers are killed at LafargeHolcim operations every year. Just as the letter was being sent to the company, another worker was killed at the company’s operation in India. And once again it was a contract worker who lost his life. The union representative reported that even after the worker was killed, there was a similar incident in exactly the same place, fortunately without any injury.
LafargeHolcim is notorious for its excessive use of precariously employed workers at its operations. The company is yet to release the fatality figures for 2017, but in 2016, 86 workers were killed at LafargeHolcim operations worldwide, most of them precariously employed contract and third-party workers.
The unions offer a solution to the company, whose programme “zero fatality target” is clearly not delivering in the absence of proper union consultation and the involvement of workers’ and their representatives in health and safety and other issues worldwide. All of these could be covered as part of a global framework agreement.
In light of the LafargeHolcim’s intransigence in denying a proper dialogue with unions and company’s violation of its commitment to sign a global framework agreement, the unions raise questions about whether the company “can be trusted as a reliable partner in any of the countries where our unions represent LafargeHolcim workers.” The unions ended their letter by expressing the hope that the company would honour its commitment and further action would not be necessary.
Related pages about:
European Works Councils