BWI and the Pakistan Federation of Building and Wood Workers (PFBWW) filed a joint complaint to the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman (CAO) of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on 6 July citing gross violation of workers’ rights of 3,000 workers at the IFC-supported Karot Hydropower Project in Pakistan.

PFBWW, which has a registered site-level union at the hydropower project, said that the worksite is undermining ILO Core Labour Standards. It said that the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining are threatened. In particular, their complaint listed specific violations of IFC’s own performance standards (2 and 4) on workers’ organizations, health and safety, working conditions and terms of employment, grievance mechanisms, retrenchment, and concerns related to the use of security forces. The union also pointed to cases of union busting, illegal dismissals and underpayment of wages and benefits. It also raised its serious concerns over the health and safety of workers which it said has worsened due to COVID-19.