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11 Mai 2021

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO National Contact Point of Switzerland

National Contact Point of Switzerland: Specific Instance regarding LafargeHolcim submitted by the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI)

Executive summary

On 12 December 2019, Building and Wood Workers’ International submitted a written request to the Swiss NCP to consider a specific instance under the OECD Guidelines regarding LafargeHolcim (LH). The submission concerned alleged breaches of specific provisions of Chapter V (Employment and Industrial Relations) of the OECD Guidelines. Following the acceptance of the specific instance and agreement on Terms of Reference, a dialogue consisting of six meetings took place between 1 July 2020 and 17 March 2021.

The issues for discussion were twofold: a. LH’s labour practices at group level, among others regarding trade union rights, compensation etc; b. LH’s treatment of workers of Holcim Philippines. These and other issues – related to LH workers and policies, in the Philippines and elsewhere – were discussed during the mediation but no joint outcome could be reached. Achievements included: a willingness shown by both parties to hold a formal social dialogue at the global level; a self-assessment by LH of its implementation of the OECD Guidelines; and the inclusion of trade unions in future Human Rights Impact Assessment by LH in the Philippines.

The Swiss NCP recommends both parties to pursue their dialogue at the global and local level, regarding above all the treatment of LH workers. The Swiss NCP will ask the parties to report on progress within six months after the publication of this report and convene a new meeting, planned in autumn 2021. The meeting will take stock of steps taken following the closure of the specific instance and decide on possible further steps among the parties.

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