Agreement on the 2016 social elections in the construction sector

25 Nov 2015

On 19 November 2015 a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) concerning the status of the trade union delegations and a protocol agreement (“gentlemen’s agreement”) were concluded in the joint labour committee of the construction sector (JC no. 124). These documents confirm that for the blue-collar workers in the sector, no social elections have to be organised in 2016, which was also the case for the previous social elections in 2012.

The CBA and the protocol agreement, concluded on 19 November, provide that for the blue-collar workers in the construction sector, the tasks and competences of the works councils (WC) and committees for prevention and protection at work (CPPW) will be entrusted to the trade union delegations as they were after the 2012 social elections. The CBA replaces the CBA of 10 September 2015 concerning the status of trade union delegations.

The protocol agreement states that the installation of a WC or CPPW is difficult because of the specific nature of the construction sector and more in particular because of the great mobility of construction sites and blue-collar workers.

When your company - in the sense of the technical unit of exploitation - belongs to JC no. 124 and employs on average at least 30 blue-collar workers, a trade union delegation can be established which will have the competences of the WC and the CPPW.

Here are the practical consequences of this agreement:

  • the companies falling under JC no. 124 and where the employment thresholds with regard to a WC and/or CPPW are reached, will have to start the social election procedure on day X-60;
  • however, the trade unions have committed themselves not to propose any candidates for the 2016 social elections, which will enable the company to terminate the social election procedure;
  • in the course of January 2016 the company will have to communicate its average employment as well as a list of employed blue-collar workers to the trade union organisations who request this;
  • separate meetings (in function of the competences of every involved body, meaning the trade union delegation, the WC and the CPPW) will have to be organised in order to execute the tasks which have as such been entrusted to the trade union delegation;
  • the (effective and substitute) members of the trade union delegation will enjoy a special dismissal protection which means that they cannot be dismissed except for serious cause or because of economic and technical reasons and with respect of a specific procedure prior to the dismissal.


> Action point

Each company concerned will have to start the social elections procedure on day X-60 but will be able to terminate it around day X+35 in the absence of candidate lists.