On September 19, the BWI European Regional Conference kicked off in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, bringing together some 160 delegates and observers from 31 European countries. These representatives from 52 unions active in the construction, forestry and related materials sectors gathered to discuss important issues and set priorities for the next four years.
Opening the conference, Johan Lindholm, Vice-President for Europe of Sweden’s Byggnads, emphasized the importance of solidarity in a region affected by pandemic and war. He noted that despite the challenges, trade unions continue to fight for justice and decent work. Lindholm emphasized that the fight for workers' rights is a common cause and one person's injury is everyone's injury.
During the conference, delegates held a rally in support of democracy in Belarus and expressed solidarity with union leaders imprisoned in that country.
BWI Deputy President Saul Mendez Rodriguez, emphasized the importance of preserving tropical forests, which play a key role in the balance of the planet's climate. He called for a joint effort by workers and unions to protect these important ecosystems and prevent the onset of a climate crisis.
The conference provided an important forum for discussion of current issues, solidarity and joint trade union action in Europe and around the world.