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Reports and Studies

Monitoring and enforcement of labour and social considerations in supply chains in the construction industry - Strengthening workers’ capacities in European Works Councils


Grant agreement VS/2019/0060 and its amendment VS/2020/0086

Executive summary

Short description of the action
Large construction and construction materials companies, with their tens of thousands of subcontractors and suppliers, outsource their labour force not only to acquire higher degrees of specialisation, but predominantly to save costs. Cost pressure, which is handed down the supply and subcontracting chain, leads to bad working conditions, exploitation, or the disregard of the right to organise in unions.
EWCs, with their right to information and consultation, can be a strategic tool for worker representatives and trade unions to monitor the supply and subcontracting practices in an MNC.
The goal of the EFBWW project "Monitoring and enforcement of workers´ rights in supply chains in the construction industry" is to strengthen the capacity of EWCs to obtain and assess data related to supply chain practices in MNCs as part of their right to information and consultation. Experts from Syndex have drafted a toolbox on monitoring and enforcement of workers' rights in supply chains, including case studies from three major players in the construction and building materials sectors: Vinci, LafargeHolcim and Royal Bam. The coordinators and EWC chairs have been closely involved in the implementation of the project and there has also been a cooperation with the HR management of the companies for the case studies. The final conference of the project took place on 10 June 2021 and many EWC members and coordinators participated.

Main objectives of the action
The project's objective was to support workers’ representatives and trade union coordinators in EWCs in monitoring and enforcement of workers’ rights in the supply chains of multinational companies. The toolbox developed during the project implementation is now a central tool for the EFBWW to deliver more targeted support to the EWCs.

Key results
The toolbox will help EWCs to start social dialogue on monitoring and enforcement of workers’ rights in the supply chains of multinational companies with the support of the EFBWW and the trade unions from the countries in which the multinational company is active. The toolbox also shows that there are a lot of good practices out there which should teach both companies and policy makers the lesson that meaningful social dialogue and more democracy at work is a right for workers and brings an added value to workers, to the company, and to democratic societies as a whole.


Download the guides below:

A toolkit to empower European Works Council representatives

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