IndustriAll Europe was invited to the last meeting during the Belgian Presidency of EU employment and social affairs ministers to discuss the social dimension of a European Industrial Deal, alongside the European chemical association CEFIC. 

The invitation followed a roundtable of sectoral social partners on the Antwerp Declaration. The European Industrial Deal to deliver the Green Deal and ensure the maintenance and creation of good quality jobs in Europe was launched at the Antwerp Industry Summit in February this year. On 15 May 2024, sectoral social partners from all the manufacturing sectoral social dialogue (most of whom had co-signed the Antwerp Declaration), joined together to set the actions needed to achieve the Industrial Deal’s ambitions to ensure good quality manufacturing jobs through:

  • A Just Transition framework, mapping employment impacts, and linking social conditionalities to support for industry and guarantees on good jobs
  • More action on training, reskilling and upskilling to address skills shortages;
  • Strengthening of social dialogue and collective bargaining at all levels; and,
  • A stable and coherent regulatory framework for our industries.

Speaking in Luxembourg, Judith Kirton-Darling stressed that:

 “The recent elections make it clear that there cannot be a ‘business as usual’ approach. This was not a ‘shock’ result for trade unionists in Europe. It must be a call to action. For all our sakes. Years of economic austerity, attacks on good quality jobs, and ever-growing inequalities have damaged people across Europe increasing social and economic insecurity.”

“Austerity is incompatible with the high-road industrial policy Europe urgently needs. We have lost 2.5 million manufacturing jobs since 2008 in Europe – mostly in the aftermath of previous austerity measures. Another way must be taken today – not a relentless repeat of yesterday’s mistakes. European industrial workers need a framework of innovation, investment, rights and social protection to anticipate and manage the colossal transformations underway in all our industries and regions. When rights are created at European level, they must be guaranteed through effective enforcement as well. Momentum is building for a proactive European industrial policy but it must have a solid social foundation. Now we need governments to get on board and ensure that Europe puts in place a Good Jobs compass to steer the industrial deal.”