The establishment of regional collective bargaining networks was and is a central element of the strategy of industriAll Europe.
The starting point of this strategy was the expectation that the introduction of Economic and Monetary Union, more than 20 years ago, would exacerbate the cross-border pressure of competition and increase the risk of competitive wage dumping.
Over the years, European wage coordination policies were adopted within industriAll Europe and its founding organisations, as well as regional collective bargaining networks were established to improve cross-border coordination in regions that traditionally had close economic ties and common labor markets.
The Vienna Memorandum Group, covering affiliates in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia, quickly developed into one of the most active and, above all, most continuous structures.
Over the course of time the thematic focus of the Vienna Memorandum Group has expanded beyond purely wage and collective bargaining topics.
At the annual meetings, current developments and issues in cross-border exchanges, such as precarious employment, temporary and temporary work, vocational training or the effects of digitization, were repeatedly taken up.
During the meeting on 21 and 22 March 2019, the trade union presidents also rolled out a banner in front of the Hungarian Parliament calling for a social Europe.
Luc Triangle, general secretary of industriAll Europe attended the meeting and expressed congratulations to the work done in this network.
He also stated that a lot of work is still ahead of us given the wage differences which are still present in the region despite high levels of productivity, and the integration of new technologies throughout the whole region in manufacturing companies, especially in the automotive sector.
A few weeks ahead of the European elections, in the face of increasing euro skepticism in many EU Member States, this piece of "living Europe" is making an important contribution to preserving the European Union.