The European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC), the European-level social partners of the construction industry, recognise the important role of the European Union and its member states in the sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine after the war with Russia. In order to achieve this, the EFBWW and FIEC encourage the concerned stakeholders and authorities to put in place an adequate framework aiming at combatting corruption, promoting quality jobs, developing skills and training, promoting collective bargaining agreements implementing adequate occupational health and safety provisions and facilitating cooperation between social partners in Ukraine.
In order to achieve these objectives, the EFBWW and FIEC (hereinafter ‘the parties’), have agreed the following:
Combatting Corruption and Ensuring Effective Monitoring and Inspection
The parties recognise the importance of combatting corruption and support the need for an effective system of monitoring and inspections to ensure transparency and accountability in the reconstruction process, including a policy for the mandatory reporting of attempts at corruption.
Promotion of quality jobs
The parties will work together to promote the creation of quality jobs, with the aim of providing decent working conditions and fair remuneration for workers in the construction sector in accordance with collective bargaining agreements of reference. The parties will work together to promote the creation of direct quality jobs in Ukraine, forming a cornerstone of a socially sustainable and national construction industry.
Skills Development and Training
The parties emphasise the need for quality apprenticeships and the development of skills in collaboration with training facilities in EU member states. The parties recognise the value of sharing best practices and supporting the establishment of partnerships between training providers and industry stakeholders, including the active involvement of paritarian organisations. These partnerships should aim to ensure quality apprenticeships and comprehensive vocational education and training in the reconstruction efforts. In addition, the parties will support the reskilling and upskilling of existing workers to ensure that they are equipped to meet the challenges of the ‘Green’ agenda (including the retrofitting of buildings) and the necessary new regulations required.
The parties encourage Ukrainian policymakers to develop a comprehensive framework which is line with EU best practice and which strengthens the membership base and the role of trade unions and employers' organisations in collective bargaining to protect and establish appropriate working conditions and rights. The parties will help facilitate the exchange of information and best practices, promote the negotiation and conclusion of collective bargaining agreements and their implementation in the construction sector in Ukraine.
Occupational Health and Safety
The parties deem it necessary before the reconstruction phase for Ukraine to adopt adequate occupational health and safety provisions in the construction sector in line with the standards of the European Union and of the corresponding international Conventions. Given the anticipated speed of reconstruction and the impact that it will have on the number of companies and workers employed, it is necessary to allocate adequate parts of the reconstruction funding to strengthen the prevention of abuses and the enforcement of the applicable OSH legislation by the competent bodies. The parties will work together to share knowledge and best practices on occupational health and safety and provide support for the implementation of effective health and safety policies and procedures.
Recognising the specific hazards faced by construction workers during the reconstruction efforts, such as asbestos, landmines and other explosive materials, the parties will emphasise the importance of proper training and personal protective equipment to address these risks, in partnership with paritarian organisations.
Cooperation between Social Partners
The parties will encourage and facilitate cooperation between social partners in Ukraine, with the aim of promoting decent working conditions and fair remuneration for workers in the construction sector in accordance with collective bargaining agreements of reference. The parties will work together to establish social dialogue platforms and support the development of effective industrial relations. The parties will explore the possibility of sharing EU best practices on cooperation between social partners and encourage the development of paritarian institutions.
Role of the European Labour Authority
The parties support the role of the European Labour Authority (ELA) in assisting social partners in Ukraine and exploring the most adequate ways to do so. The parties recognise the importance of social dialogue and the need for continued cooperation between all stakeholders to achieve sustainable reconstruction in Ukraine.
Respect of Social Criteria in the Use of EU Funds in Ukraine
The parties stress the importance of respecting social criteria when deploying EU funding in Ukraine and will advocate for the implementation of such criteria, including the strict observation of labour and social standards, gender equality, sustainability in all construction projects carried out in Ukraine.
Support for Ukraine's Adoption of Necessary Reforms for Accession
The parties note Ukraine's commitment to aligning its legal and regulatory framework with EU standards. Recognising the importance of progress in the areas of labour rights, social protection, and the rule of law, the parties support Ukraine's journey towards closer integration with the European Union. The parties will actively assist Ukraine in strengthening its institutional mechanisms for the effective implementation and enforcement of EU-aligned standards, fostering a conducive environment for social progress and sustainable economic development.
Joint European Advocacy and Follow-up
The parties will establish a joint follow-up and evaluation mechanism to monitor progress and assess the impact in close cooperation with the Ukrainian sectoral social partners. The parties will review the implementation of this memorandum of understanding and make necessary adjustments. The parties will collaborate in joint advocacy efforts, leveraging available EU budget lines and exploring financial support mechanisms. These endeavours aim to secure additional resources and funding to bolster the implementation of social dialogue initiatives, contributing to the overall success and sustainability of the reconstruction and development efforts in Ukraine and the development of the Ukrainian construction industry in the future.