We have developed a blueprint for a European Steel Action Plan – we now need our political leaders to recognize that there is no time to waste. Steel needs Europe, and Europe most definitely will need steel – we want it to be clean steel produced here and supporting good quality jobs in our steel communities. Now is the time to act!
Despite the constraints of Covid-19, industriall Europe’s call to mobilise for a European steel action day, was taken up by steel workers and their unions with enormous commitment yesterday and the response of our affiliates was a unified call for a European Steel Action Plan from the 4 corners of Europe. Member organisations in every EU steel producing country participated with an array of actions.
National activities ranged from demonstrations, like the gathering of steel workers coming from all Czech steel companies at the industrial heritage site Dolní oblast Vítkovice; broadcasts of high-level panel discussions involving politicians, trade union leaders, works councilors and top-level company management (as in Germany’s Dillinger Hüttenwerke and Saarstahl AG); regional social dialogue meetings such as the Voivodeship Social Dialogue Council in Katowice; trade union sectoral conferences as in Bulgaria; meetings with national ministers as in Italy; numerous press activities and statements as well as lively social media campaigns. We congratulate our affiliates wholeheartedly for their enthusiasm and readiness to take action!
We were also enormously grateful to receive direct support from various Members of the European Parliament, several governments, the President and the workers group of the European Economic and Social Committee and last but not least our sister organisation industriALL Global Union.
In the run-up to the action day, industriAll Europe had engaged in various meetings and lobbying activities. We met with the cabinets of European Commissioners, Members of the European Parliament and discussed with the European steel employers’ association Eurofer. Via TUAC, the trade union advisory committee to the OECD, we demanded an end to global steel overcapacity at the OECD steel committee meeting – one of the central demands of our steel campaign. In the morning of the action day, industriAll Europe met with representatives of the German EU Presidency and presented its demands.
The challenges facing the European steel sector are evident and this successful European action day is only a stepping stone. Having gathered momentum, industriAll Europe’s steel campaign will now firmly focus on the EU Competitiveness Council taking place on 19 November. Steel workers and their unions expect ministers meeting in the Competitiveness Council to decide on a new European steel action plan that will enable the sector to play its role in the recovery of the European economy and in achieving our climate ambitions. IndustriAll Europe and its affiliates will take every necessary step to ensure a future for green steel made in Europe, delivering high-quality jobs for European steelworkers. For this we rely on Europe’s support.
IndustriAll Europe’s Deputy General Secretary Judith Kirton-Darling reiterated to the industriAll Europe Basic Metals Committee members who met in the afternoon of the Steel Action Day that, “it has been overwhelming to hear the voices of steelworkers from every corner of Europe calling for the same goal: a sustainable future for our industry and jobs! We have developed a blueprint for a European Steel Action Plan – we now need our political leaders to recognize that there is no time to waste. Steel needs Europe, and Europe most definitely will need steel – we want it to be clean steel produced here and supporting good quality jobs in our steel communities. Now is the time to act!”
IndustriAll Europe’s Steel Action Plan: EN, FR, DE
European Steel Action Day flyer: EN, FR, DE, CZ, FI, SK
Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication), Elspeth Hathaway (policy adviser basic metals)