Agricultural Machinery in Europe
The agricultural machinery industry in Europe is currently employing 150.000 workers. Placed into an international context, this industry is highly competitive with most important global players located in Europe and giving the EU a high-tech leadership. However, the general picture of the agricultural machinery industry has changed. Not only are companies affected from restructuring and pressured from increasing international competition, they have to handle the still unknown outcome and unpredictable challenges of the current financial and economic crisis.
Therefore it is important for employee representatives and trade unions to intensively exchange information and build networks.
Already in 1996, employee representatives in agricultural engineering in Germany, established a network of employees: the “Employee Network Agricultural Engineering”. The IG Metall, the “Network Agricultural Engineering” and trade union partners in several European countries started the “European Employee Agri-Tech-Networking” project, which was carried out from 2007 to 2008. Project partners noticed very soon that topics of interest were the same and that west, east, north and south are not far away from each other.
Project phase 2 of the European Employee Network Agricultural Machinery will deepened the cooperation and enlarge the network to more countries, with particular focus on new EU member states. The network will define common positions and concrete approaches on the effects of restructuring on employees and their working conditions.
The project brings together metalworkers’ unions from 10 European countries. As an enlargement of network building, new partners from Finland, France, Belgium and Italy will participate in project phase 2.
With the EMF as the project coordinator of the European Employee Network, a broader range of countries and companies will be addressed. The network will be closely connected to the EMF “Select Working Party Mechanical Engineering” and has the aim to address all major locations of agricultural machinery in Europe.
In 2007 the network started with major companies in the agricultural machinery sector of Germany, Austria, Spain, Poland and Hungary. Now, the project involves more than 30 employee representatives from ten European countries.
Main Project Activities
Project activities will focus on the exchange of experiences and information at company as well as sector level. For this purpose project partners will contribute to the Online Resource Center (website) of the network and to a Map of agricultural machinery in Europe which will be published by the end of the project. Main project activities also will include two transnational thematic workshops and a major event concluding the EU project:
- “Crisis, restructuring and possible solutions – what employee representatives suggest”, 1st transnational workshop, December 2009
- “Good work – exchanging information and experiences on different forms of workers’ participation”, 2nd transnational workshop. early 2010
- “Employee Forum European Agricultural Machinery 2020”, Final conference, June 2010
Final report in English
We, representatives of the metalworkers’ unions, works councils and workplace union committees at the international, sectoral Future Forum of the European Employee Network Agricultural Machinery in Brussels, have today adopted the following joint declaration:
A strong European agricultural machinery industry is based on strong worker representation