IndustriAll European Trade Union has launched a project that focuses on how to secure a just transition politically and on the tools at hand for trade unions to ensure that the transition takes place in a socially responsible way and contributes to growth and decent jobs in industrial sectors undergoing transition. 

Just transition is one of the most imminent topics for workers and trade unions. Climate change is happening, and it is happening fast. Industrial workers and their trade unions have decided to play their role in mitigating the consequences of climate change and to support the European Union and its Member States in their goal to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. The European Union targets net-zero emissions by 2050 and the Green Deal contains a great number of initiatives that will contribute to this aim.

The transformation - especially the challenge of decarbonising industry - will have a deep impact on workers. And it will only be successful if workers support it. For this, the involvement of workers and their trade unions in shaping the transformation is crucial. Workers, especially in carbon-intensive regions, need to see tangible measures taken at political and company level that promote a sustainable development and the creation and maintenance of decent jobs. It cannot be the economically vulnerable and workers that bear the costs of the transition.

The project will allow industriAll Europe’s affiliated trade unions an in-depth debate on decarbonisation and just transition pathways. It will help trade unions develop a supportive role in the transition process and provide them with concrete tools to do so. The project will assess the impact of the transformation on sectors represented by industriAll Europe, evaluate prospects for sectoral transformation and expected impacts on employment. A study will examine trade union approaches and social dialogue mechanisms anticipating the transition and addressing its impacts. Working on concepts to ensure that decent work is part of national decarbonisation strategies, with social dialogue at the heart of strategy setting, will be a central aim of the project.

By building trade union capacities to engage in the political debate and in social dialogue on the transformation of industry, by identifying good practices and sharing experiences - the project will help trade unions define strategies to respond to future challenges and opportunities connected to the transformation.

In a first step, industriAll Europe and HIVA have today launched a survey to gather examples of initiatives that take up this transformation towards a climate-neutral industry. The questionnaire is available in 9 languages and gathers information on the nature of these activities, on the involvement of trade unions in the process and on the participation of workers. The survey will support us in identifying good practices in shaping a just transition and will be followed up by in-depth interviews. 

The project’s success depends on our affiliates’ participation! That is why, we call on our members to participate in the survey and to share it with colleagues also at the regional level, in works councils and at the shop floor who surely have valuable experiences and practices to share!

The questionnaire is available in Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Romanian and Spanish. The deadline for responses is 20 October 2020.

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication), Corinna Zierold (senior policy adviser and project coordinator)

This project is funded by the European Commission (DG Employment Budget line VP/2019/002 Information and training measures for workers' organisations, Project reference VP/2019/002/0047)