We are now waiting for the European Commission and national governments to meet the expectations of workers across Europe, including in the proposals on the social dimension of the Fit for 55 package due in early December.
IndustriAll Europe and its member unions have completed their Just Transition action weeks with success! The action weeks, a coordinated, Europe-wide mobilisation from 25 October – 10 November 2021, marked the start of a broader European campaign for a Just Transition for industrial workers decided by industriAll Europe’s Executive Committee on the basis of a common policy platform, calling for:
- adequate resources to prepare workers for the transitions
- a detailed employment mapping of affected workers
- anticipation of change and social dialogue for all workers
- rights to ensure that transitions are smooth for individual workers
- policy cooperation and exchange of good practices
Faced with the most significant change since the industrial revolution as the European Green Deal is set to dramatically accelerate our industries’ transformation, industriAll Europe’s members decided to step up the fight for a stronger social dimension to climate policies across Europe. They mobilised in large numbers under a common banner and filled the action weeks with an impressive range of events and activities, with enthusiasm, dedication, and creativity. Under the slogan ‘Nothing about us, without us!’, we brought our specific trade union demands for a Just Transition to the attention of many. Be it at the national, European, and even global level – it would have been hard for policy makers to miss us.
National events ranged from information campaigns at company level, social media campaigns, conferences, training events, media publications, letter campaigns and briefing meetings with national politicians, to national action days, rallies and protest marches.
At European level, the networks and committees of industriAll Europe put a special focus on Just Transition during the mobilisation and a webinar of our Youth Academy was dedicated to the subject. At the centre of our activities was a prolonged social media campaign aimed at European policy makers. A clear highlight in that context was our twitter storm on 27 October that was taken up by our members across Europe in great numbers. It was fantastic to see the faces and statements of so many activists in their twitter posts on that day!
On 1 November, we took our campaign to COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow to push our demand for a Just Transition at the conference. Colleagues from industriAll Europe and IndustriALL Global Union participated in several events linked to COP26 as well as the climate protest march on 6 November. On 10 November, industriAll Europe and IndustriALL Global Union jointly hosted the European Union side event ‘Just Transition of workers in the transition to net-zero emissions’ at COP26. The joint declaration of industriAll Europe and IndustriALL Global Union on COP26 provided a framework for the event.
It is clear that our collective voices are being heard. The Just Transition pledge signed by fourteen governments and the European Commission at COP26 to fund climate change mitigation and decarbonisation efforts in poorer countries, subject to Just Transition principles is an important achievement in this regard.
It is also clear that our fight for a stronger social dimension to Europe’s climate policies, for good and sustainable jobs, and for a just future for industrial workers must continue.
Luc Triangle, industriAll Europe General Secretary, said:
“Our action weeks have shown that industrial workers across Europe are determined to vigorously fight for a Just Transition. Europe has the capacity to lead the socio-ecological transformation globally and we will not stop until Europe’s Green Deal becomes a social deal.
We are now waiting for the European Commission and national governments to meet the expectations of workers across Europe, including in the proposals on the social dimension of the Fit for 55 package due in early December.”