On 27 March in Paris, LafargeHolcim signed an agreement on creation of the company European Works Council (EWC). This sends a promising signal for the upcoming process towards a global framework agreement.
IndustriALL Global Union believes that by signing the European agreement the group has made the first concrete step in building sound and healthy industrial relations with their workers. This first step, however, needs further impetus and the company needs to do more to prove their good will towards their employees not only in Europe, but also globally and provide for an equally binding social dialogue foundation in other countries as well.
IndustriALL and its sister organization Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) representing LafargeHolcim workers globally are currently in the process of negotiating a global framework agreement with the company.
The global framework agreement would create, similarly to the EWC agreement, a strong framework for a genuine dialogue between management and workers at all facilities and suppliers of the company throughout the world.
Invited by the company to attend the ceremony of signing the EWC agreement in Paris, Matthias Hartwich, IndustriALL’s Director for Materials and Mechanical Engineering Sections commented: “The conclusion of this ground-breaking EWC agreement at LafargeHolcim means for us an indication that the company is serious about their intention to conclude a Global Framework Agreement with IndustriALL and BWI."
Since Lafarge and Holcim merged in 2015 year, the company has faced a number of challenges including numerous workplace fatalities, growth of precarious work, and also local problems resulting in strikes and lockouts due to insufficient level of fair and open dialogue between management and unions at factory level in the tough period of restructuring.
Some of these issues are gradually being resolved through improved dialogue and labour relations. However the experience demonstrates that it is necessary for LafargeHolcim to settle the same framework for its industrial relations all over the world.
IndustriALL Global Union, Building and Wood Worker's International (BWI) and LafargeHolcim has already agreed to launch the process for developing a Global Framework Agreement.