On your marks, get set, go: European trade unions ready to shape the transformation of our jobs and industries

The jobs of millions of workers are going to change in the coming years as our industries are on the road to digitalisation, decarbonisation, and further (yet to be regulated) globalisation and demographic change. To ensure no one is left behind and a solution is provided for each and every worker, trade unions intend to get involved in shaping the future world of work.

How? Thanks to an ever stronger trade union solidarity and coordination under the industriAll Europe umbrella. That is the commitment the +100 trade unionists coming from all over Europe - from Spain to Poland, the Czech Republic to the UK, and from Germany to Bulgaria - reiterated at an industriAll Europe conference convened in Blankenberge (Belgium).

“In a globalised and fast-changing world, restructuring is no longer an exceptional circumstance, it is part of the daily life of our companies. Our companies are multinational companies, evolving on European, if not global, markets. Restructuring is often, by essence, transnational. And we will continue to stress that there is no national solution to transnational problems. Looking for European solutions has always been and will continue to be industriAll Europe core policy”, said Luc Triangle, industriAll Europe General Secretary.

Not only will trade unions strengthen their cooperation across borders to continue defending workers whose jobs are jeopardised by ill-thought and irresponsible decisions of multinational companies, but industriAll Europe will step up its effort at having our demands taken on board by European policymakers:

  1. We need far better rights to be involved in strategic decision-making, starting with a substantially improved EWC Directive, reinforced rights for information and consultation in each country, and a horizontal framework for information, consultation and participation in companies using elements of EU law. These are the key demands of the ETUC campaign for More Democracy at Work industriAll Europe is actively participating in.

  2. We need far better social dialogue structures, starting with rebuilding and intensifying collective bargaining which has been damaged in so many European countries. This is the key demand of our industriAll Europe Together at work campaign which will run all over Europe in the coming months.

  3. We need ambitious initiatives to ensure all workers can benefit from re- and upskilling thanks to high quality vocational education and training and lifelong learning policies. This is a key point industriAll Europe stresses, including together with the European employers’ associations industriAll Europe is conducting social dialogue with in many sectors (metal, chemical, electricity, pulp and paper sectors).

  4. We need minimum European standards to avoid redundancies, so that the search for alternatives to lay-offs becomes automatic, e.g. through short-time working schemes, early retirement, outplacement support, etc.

“The changes our industries are undergoing and the challenges ahead of us are of a never seen before scale and pace. We, the trade unions, made a clear choice: not to be reactive, but to be clearly proactive in shaping the future of our jobs together”, concluded Luc Triangle.