Germany: Union delegates representing workers at HeidelbergCement have created a trade union network. Forty delegates from Europe, Middle East and North Africa, North America, Asia-Pacific and South Asia met in early November 2017 in Bremen. The meeting was organized by IndustriALL Global Union with support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, also involving IndustriALL‘s sister organisation Building and Wood Workers’ International.
“With the creation of the HeidelbergCement union network, we open the door to social dialogue if management is willing, and we hope union activists will contribute seriously to the promotion of workers’ rights and interests in the company. To this end, the steering committee will be in close interaction with the national unions. Finally, we strongly believe that HeidelbergCement will only win through workers’ active participation and engagement,” said Matthias Hartwich, director for materials industry at IndustriALL.
The meeting discussed recent developments in the cement sector and sustainability issues. The experience of global and national unions interacting with management at another big cement giant company, LafargeHolcim, was also raised. At the end of the meeting, delegates unanimously adopted a Bremen declaration and elected a steering committee for the network, which will coordinate the work in between its global meetings. No representative of the group’s global management attended the event despite being sent invitations.