BONN, Germany, May 17, 2016 (Press Release) -On 10 March 2016, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) International Board of Directors agreed to maintain association with BILT Graphic Paper Products Limited (BILT), subject to a number of conditions.
BILT must submit an action plan and a progress report to FSC International outlining how they will meet the conditions set by the board no later than 24 June 2016, or FSC will disassociate from BILT. Full implementation of these conditions is required by early October 2016.
After a complaint was filed by Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) in March 2015 under the FSC-POL-01-004 Policy for Association of Organizations with FSC (FSC Policy for Association), an independent complaints panel concluded that there was clear and convincing evidence that Sabah Forest Industries (SFI), a Malaysian subsidiary of BILT, failed to uphold the principles of the International Labour Organization’s Core Conventions: Freedom of Association (Convention No. 87), and Collective Bargaining (Convention No. 98).
The complaints panel also found that BILT exercised a significant level of authority and control on all matters related to unions and workers at SFI – making BILT indirectly involved in the violation of the FSC Policy for Association.
If BILT and SFI fail to demonstrate commitment to the conditions and submit relevant documentation before the June deadline, FSC will disassociate from BILT. This decision will be confirmed at the next FSC International board meeting in July 2016.
Through its subsidiary SFI, the BILT Group currently holds one FSC chain of custody certificate in Malaysia. Other FSC chain of custody certificates held by subsidiaries of BILT in India were recently terminated.
Please visit the BWI v. BILT case page for full details of the conditions set by the board, and all information about the case to date.