General Secretary Luc Triangle presented the draft visuals of the Together at Work campaign to hundreds of trade union leaders gathered in Vienna ahead of the start of the campaign in September. He said:
“Strengthening collective bargaining is a key part of our struggle for higher pay and better working conditions. Over the past decades, collective bargaining has been eroded throughout Europe and during the recent crisis it was consciously attacked, both by national governments and European institutions.
“We all know to what this has led: an increase in individual contracts which has left workers unable to stand up for themselves and for their rights. It also caused a rise in precarious work and in-work poverty and fuelled the rise in inequality as workers no longer have the collective force to ensure a fair share of wealth.
“But too often debates in society about living standards overlook collective bargaining as a solution to increasing wages and living standards. That’s why industriAll Europe has decided to launch a campaign to support and promote collective bargaining throughout Europe.”
The campaign, which will run until March 2020, will first promote the added value of collective bargaining for workers, with specific messages to reach women and young workers, before going on to promote the benefits for companies and society as a whole.
While coordinated at a European level, Luc Triangle stressed the campaign would be delivered at the grassroots by national affiliates with actions that would be reach workplaces across the continent. The ETUC is already supporting the campaign and the industriAll General Secretary invited other trade unions to join in and lend their weight to efforts to promote collective bargaining. He concluded:
“Our joint actions must be a game changer in the next congress period in order to build, rebuild and strengthen collective bargaining structures everywhere in Europe to ensure that the large majority of workers enjoy the protection of collective agreements. Strong collective bargaining is the key to improving wages, better working conditions and is the core business of our trade union work.”