Trade unionists must mobilise and vote for candidates to ensure that Europe gets an industrial deal to implement the Green Deal and deliver good jobs in every region.

Nicolas Schmit (PES), the current EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Walter Baier (European Left) and Bas Eickhout MEP (Greens) all set out their political stalls covering the industrial and social challenges facing workers. IndustriAll Europe reiterated its core demands and campaign on good industrial jobs, summarised in five demands:

  1.  A Just Transition including a right to training
  2. An investment plan with social conditionalities
  3. Democracy at work
  4. A right to energy
  5. Human rights’ guarantees along the global supply chains

The responses from the Executive Committee members to the three lead candidates clearly showed that the manufacturing unions in Europe want to see changes in the coming legislature because:

  • Austerity threatens the basic industries in Europe
  • New investments do not compensate for job losses in manufacturing
  • Wealth should be redistributed more fairly
  • Progressive forces need an alternative to the far right
  • The energy market must be reformed to ensure affordable prices for industry and households
  • Social dialogue is a precondition for a just, industrial recovery

The Executive Committee also demonstrated its solidarity with Finland’s trade unions in their struggle to counter proposals from the country’s extreme conservative coalition. The Finnish Parliament recently voted to limit the right to political strikes and to weaken the organisation of solidarity actions in relation to collective bargaining. The reform package clearly shows that promises from far-right parties, such as the Finns Party, to stand with workers are nothing but empty words and siren songs. Once in power, they will undermine workers’ rights from day one.

Judith Kirton-Darling, industriAll Europe’s General Secretary, stressed that: “Unless the EU reverses its industrial decline, Europeans could end up without industries which for decades have provided quality jobs to countless workers, who gained economic security, a sense of purpose, and identity. In the coming years, EU decision-makers will determine whether Europe’s manufacturing sector - integral to the EU’s social fabric - has a long-term future.

“Strong trade unions are essential to ensure fair growth and prosperity. Another way is possible, and we have to get out the vote to deliver it. ”