Global and national unions representing LafargeHolcim workers worldwide have expressed outrage over the company’s unilateral decision to back down from its signature of a global framework agreement designed to build positive industrial relations throughout the company.
According to IndustriALL Global Union, the company gave no reason for its radical reversal from the commitment to sign a global framework agreement, which was announced and approved by the annual shareholders’ meeting in 2017.
LafargeHolcim simply cited the change of its business strategy with the arrival of a new CEO, who claims its current internal arrangements meet the requirements of the company without any need to make further additions.
The Global Framework Agreement was due to be signed at the International Labour Organization’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 10, 2018, presided over by the ILO director-general.
In July 2017, LafargeHolcim’s top management signed, together with IndustriALL Global Union and Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI), a memorandum of understanding committing to sign the agreement.
The company has, however, decided, on December 22, not to sign the global agreement, even though it continues to be plagued by the worst health and safety performance in the industry.
IndustriALL Global Union and BWI, together with The European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW), European Works Council (EWC) and national unions, through an emergency meeting in Geneva on January 9, made a strong statement expressing outrage and anger against LafargeHolcim’s unilateral stepping back from the joint decision to establish a global social dialogue structure in the group.
National, European and global unions believe that LafargeHolcim should reconsider their position and: “Come back to fair labour relations and social dialogue, sign the Global Framework Agreement (GFA) with IndustriALL and BWI Global Unions; Put an end to the abuse of sub-contracted and third-party workers within the company; Respect its own promises regarding the involvement of workers and their representatives in improving occupational health and safety and preventing any more needless deaths and major injuries at LafargeHolcim.”
Valter Sanches, IndustriALL general-secretary, commenting on LafargeHolcim’s latest broken promise, said, “This recent decision to break the agreement on building a social dialogue further damages the credibility of the company.
“We strongly believe that the shareholders, board of directors and all decision makers in LafargeHolcim must think carefully what the future will hold for LafargeHolcim if this destructive approach prevails. This would be a huge obstacle in getting the company back on a good track.”