Statement of the UITBB Women’s Committee

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UITBB Executive Committee Meeting

Larnaca, Cyprus, 14 – 17 March 2012

The meeting of the UITBB Women’s Committee was held on 16th March 2012 in Larnaka, Cyprus. The meeting was organised by the UITBB and hosted and coordinated by the Cyprus Building, Wood, Mine and General Workers Trade Union.

Importantly the meeting was held within the framework of the UITBB Executive Committee meeting. More than 32 colleagues from 15 countries were represented. Of these delegates, 6 were women who took part in the 3 day Executive Committee meeting as well as the Women’s Committee meeting.

The Women’s Committee meeting expressed gratitude to the UITBB for its ongoing support of the Committee and for facilitating this very successful and informative gathering where collectively women were able to analyse and discuss the differences and difficulties confronting women.

The meeting analysed the effects of the crisis of capitalism on the position of women in general and after listening to the contributions in every region from the broader executive meeting as well as the contribution of our women delegates, affirmed that this crisis has brought about further decline in standards of living for the majority of the world’s women.

In particular the meeting found that women’s participation in employment has decreased and that women are more highly represented amongst the unemployed or those in precarious work. Further, the meeting found that where women are represented in the construction industry they are mostly working in the lower paid and insecure labouring classifications. Wage inequalities between the genders continue as well as discriminatory leave and pension entitlements. OH&S provisions are inadequate. The need to fight these very blatant inequalities in employment led the Committee to propose the action plan outlined below. It is intended that the UITBB Women’s Committee show leadership in each of the elements of the action plan but where appropriate, the implementation of each element is carried out by affiliates preferably in conjunction with their gender equality officer or contact person.

Action Plan of the UITBB Women’s Committee 2012-2013

  1. Raise awareness of the UITBB Action Plan amongst women members and participate in all campaigns of the UITBB
  2. Encourage each affiliate to appoint a gender contact officer and to report to the Coordinator of the Women’s Committee any activity around gender issues
  3. Participate in forums, seminars and educational programmes at a regional level
  4. Organise a training seminar for African Working Women
  5. Work to expand the women’s leadership training program into Asia and South America
  6. Acknowledge, support and take specific actions on the following UITBB campaign’s:
  • 8th March International Women’s day. Develop a statement on the UITBB position on gender issues, publish and distribute the statement in workplaces
  • 27th June Ban Child Labour. Assist in the development and implementation of the campaign
  • 25thNovember Stop Violence against Women. Assist in the development and implementation of the campaign. On this occasion UITBB affiliated unions of Latin America develop various campaigns related to the main topic until 10 December.
  • 1st December International protect yourself from HIV/AIDS and campaign for its eradication day. Assist in the development and implementation of the campaign
  • 18th December International Day on the protection of Migrant Workers. Publicise and support the campaign
  • International Literacy Day. Publicise and support the campaign
  1. Promote equality issues in collective agreements
  2. Promote better legislation and compliance strategies around gender issues including banning child labour and stopping violence against women in the workplace
  3. Publicise the activity of the women’s committee in the UITBB newsletter and on the website
  4. Elaborate and adopt the first UITBB Charter of Working Women’s Rights

Conclusion

The UITBB Women’s Committee affirms its solidarity with workers suffering the devastating results of the crisis of capitalism and affirms its support for the struggles of our comrades in class based unions. Further the Committee reaffirms its policies and statements from the 15th Congress of the UITBB and acknowledges with gratitude the continuing support of the UITBB. The Women’s Committee recognises the importance of collective struggle in achieving equality for women working in the construction industry and believes that it is only by working through class based unions that our aims can be achieved. We submit this statement to the UITBB Executive Committee for endorsement.

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