Collective bargaining is the best guarantee of equality.

During the upcoming weeks, Together at Work will highlight specific challenges faced by women workers and the benefits collective bargaining can bring to them. 

We will show the difficult realities that female workers across Europe are still facing today and how trade union action can improve their situation. 

Our infosheet demonstrates that "a woman’s place is at the bargaining table". There she can win better conditions and pay for her colleagues. Here are some insights:

  • The pay gap won’t close for the next 54 years. Because women in the EU are paid less than men, they are effectively working for free from 4 November. Although the gap is slowly closing, the pace of change is glacial: at the current rate, the gender pay gap will not disappear in Western Europe until the year 2074.
  • Women work less or not at all because of care obligations: Women workers are four times more likely to be working part-time and are less likely to be in employment. When asked, 44% of women said they worked part-time because of family or care responsibilities and a third who did not work cited the same reasons for not seeking employment. 
  • Trade unions are winning real equality: See the highlighted examples from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic and Denmark in our infosheet.

Trade unions have long been fighting for equal rights for women at work. International Women’s Day, held every year on 8 March, started as a day of workers’ action over a century ago. Today, unions are fighting for equal pay and better rights for women. By winning agreements with employers that protect against discrimination, particularly when it comes to pregnancy and childcare, unions are striving for real equality. 

Luc Triangle, industriAll Europe’s General Secretary underlined: “Collective bargaining is the best guarantee of equality, not just to access employment, but also during the development of women’s careers. By ensuring equal pay and enforcing labour rights, women will progress in their chosen field. Collective bargaining is also key to achieving work-life balance and ensuring that everyone, regardless of their gender, has access to quality employment.”

About the campaign

The objective of industriAll Europe’s collective bargaining campaign is to demonstrate the positive impact of collective bargaining, underpinned by strong unions, in delivering a better life for workers. It consists of 7 targeted campaigns, each lasting one month. The Women Workers' campaign runs from 10 February to 8 March.

The campaign can be followed on facebook (@industriAllEU), twitter (@industriAll_EU) and instagram (industriall_europe).

Visit for more information.
See the campaign coverage here. Watch the campaign video.
Contact Patricia Velicu for more information or further comment.