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Workers at LafargeHolcim demand good, safe jobs

13 October, 2015On 7 October, the World Day for Decent Work, unions at LafargeHolcim demanded that the construction materials giant stop using precarious labour and quit putting profits before workers’ lives.

Workers and their trade unions from Europe, Asia, Africa, South and North America organized rallies, conferences and meetings giving a strong and unified signal that LafargeHolcim must address the wide use of precarious work at the company.

Poor and precarious employment conditions are the most common reason for injuries and fatalities at work. They also do little to inspire loyalty thus making it extremely difficult to build harmonized labour relations in the company.

More than 300 people have died during last four years while on job for Lafarge and Holcim. Almost 90 per cent of the dead were employed by subcontractors or third parties.

After the merger in July 2015, LafargeHolcim, committed to provide “safe, healthy and inclusive workplaces”. The company also set the goal of “zero harm” to their workers. This is certainly a good declaration. Now the promises must be followed with deeds.

Unions also used 7 October to highlight workers’ insecurity and uncertainty about their future as a result of the merger of Lafarge and Holcim.

At rallies and actions, LafargeHolcim workers from all over the world demanded that the company:

  • Start a dialogue with unions at the global level to reach an agreement covering all the company’s worksites that ensures fundamental international labour standards are protected (Global Framework Agreement);
  • Form a global joint union-management council that works to ensure the global framework agreement is respected;
  • Improve health and safety for all directly and indirectly employed workers by having joint health and safety committees with trade union representatives in all workplaces.