This Thursday 14 December 2017 Rik Vandenberghe, CEO of BESIX Group, and Geert Aelbrecht, Chief Human Resources Officer of BESIX Group, have signed an international framework agreement on fair labour standards with Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of Building & Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and Guy Winandy, Secretary of the European Works Council (EWC) of BESIX Group.
This agreement’s purpose is to promote and protect the well-being of all employees and workers employed by BESIX Group. It firmly illustrates the Group’s interest for fair labour standards of its employees and workers regardless of age, disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion, political opinion or beliefs. The agreement is based on a wide range of international labour standards such as the ILO Fundamental Conventions and other human rights instruments*.
As part of BESIX Group’s purpose to excel in creating sustainable solutions for a better world, this agreement represents a stronger commitment compared with other international framework agreements. It applies to all BESIX Group entities worldwide, as well as to all of its subcontractors and suppliers, a provision which was already contained in the BESIX Group Code of Conduct of March 2014. The implementation of the agreement will be overseen by a reference group composed of BESIX Group, BWI, the EWC and the relevant BWI affiliates in Belgium.
Rik Vandenberghe, CEO of BESIX Group: “Since 1909, BESIX Group has been committed to creating the best possible working conditions for its employees, both on its construction sites and on the office floor. Not only do we comply with existing national and international legislation, but we also take complementary measures to make our actions more effective. Since a couple of years we have included our commitments to the human rights and well-being at work in our internal Code of Conduct. Now by signing this agreement we want to demonstrate our commitment to respect and to promoting human rights externally as well. In doing so, we believe that we can be an agent of change and create a positive impact on the lives of our people, their communities and society as a whole.”
Geert Aelbrecht, Chief Human Resources Officer of BESIX Group: “Our people come first. Their well-being is a key priority in everything we do: in our recruitment process as well as in ensuring our staff and subcontractors enjoy optimal working and living conditions. Our commitments in this agreement are not mere words. They are the foundation of how we want to conduct our business and set out a journey towards continuous improvement. We will involve everyone in the implementation and respect of the framework agreement: from top management to local management, workers and their representatives, and health and safety representatives.”
Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of BWI: “This agreement is designed to enable construction workers to fully exercise their rights, participate in building their future, and work and live in dignity. We look forward to cooperating with BESIX Group based on these shared values and commitments”.
Guy Winandy, Secretary of the European Works Council (EWC) of BESIX Group: “We welcome this comprehensive international framework agreement. We are pleased that the EWC, through its social dialogue processes, was able to initiate this agreement based on international standards, which applies to the activities in Europe, but also in the rest of the world. We will be reporting on a regular basis during our meetings on progress made under this agreement”.
*Such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, and the ILO fundamental rights at work Declaration.