Last week, trade unions representing workers in the textiles, clothing, tanning and leather sectors (TCLF) met in Brussels to discuss the challenges in the sector and how to make the sector more sustainable whilst keeping quality jobs in Europe. 

During the TCLF network meeting, trade unions reported positive gains for workers in some countries, such as Germany, with a significant increase in income between 8% and 15% in two years, while others reported continuous pressure on wages, like in Portugal where the gender pay gap has reached 23% (Average Monthly Remuneration earned).

Following industriAll Europe’s own TCLF network, unions met with employers in the sectoral social dialogue committee to jointly discuss the situation in the sector. With action needed to ensure a better future for TCLF workers, industriAll Europe adopted a Joint Statement on TCLF Social Partners’ Priorities for the next European Mandate (2024-2029), with European TCLF employers: CEC, Cotance and Euratex. The joint statement calls on future EU policymakers to increase their ambition to safeguard the European TCLF sectors and maintain good industrial jobs in Europe. The statement also wants a European Industrial Deal to complement the Green Deal which keeps and creates quality jobs in Europe. With over 1.5 million jobs in the sector, industriAll Europe calls for engagement with trade unions to ensure that the green and digital transition is a Just Transition. 

Subsequently, the joint statement was immediately presented to 500 stakeholders at an EU event on the state of play of the Textiles Ecosystem Transition Pathway. IndustriAll Europe insists that sustainability must be good for people as well as the planet and for the EU to increase its commitment on social aspects. 

Judith Kirton-Darling, industriAll Europe’s General Secretary said: 

"Quality social dialogue is at the centre of ensuring a just and fair transition of the TCLF sectors in Europe. Today, we have joined forces with our European social partners to jointly call for more action from EU policy makers to ensure that the TCLF sector can become more sustainable while keeping and creating good industrial jobs in Europe. We want good jobs with decent pay and fair conditions for all TCLF workers, and strong social partners are at the heart of this transition. We will continue to work together to ensure that the future TCLF sector is sustainable and good for both people and the planet.’’