Political Resolution 2011-2015

A sustainable future for metal industries: a decent and organised future for metalworkers in Europe.

A strong sustainable manufacturing base is essential for sustained economic prosperity and stability in Europe. A longer term European strategy to secure more and better jobs and reduce growing socio-economic inequality must be the basis of European integration in the coming period and should underpin the ‘Europe 2020’ agenda. The European Metalworkers’ Federation’s raison d’être is to defend and promote a sustainable future for European manufacturing workers, fighting for the respect of workers’ rights, and improved working and living conditions.

‘We have seen many employers take advantage of the economic situation in Europe to introduce unilateral restructuring, intensify workloads and increase precarious work in their companies as a means of increasing their profits against the long-term sustainable interests of our industries.’ States EMF General Secretary Ulrich Eckelmann.

The EMF strongly believes that European manufacturing must take the opportunity to reorient itself towards an economic model based on sustainable consumption and production, taking a position of market leader in the development of new goods and industrial services. Strategic and coordinated economic and industrial policies should be directed towards developing this new model of growth based on innovation, eco-efficiency, sustainable technologies, carbon-lean production and the internalisation of ecological costs. A strong manufacturing base is fundamental to launching this model, and it is dependent on the effective engagement of manufacturing workers in defining its future direction.

With decent jobs at the heart of our commitments and in the face of sustained attacks on the European social model from market and political forces, the EMF insists on the strengthening of the European social and employment policies. The current crisis stemming from the domination of the financial markets over the real economy, as well as the intensifying pressure from globalisation and environmental challenges, necessitates a fundamental change in Europe’s social and economic policy framework and corporate behaviour.

European integration must be grounded on the principles and practices of:

  • the defence and promotion of social and labour rights, including a guaranteed right to strike at European level,
  • credible life-long learning, active labour market policies including all workers, and the promotion of social and economic security and cohesion from cradle to grave,
  • democratic participation of workers in corporate strategies as well as the anticipation and management of change, and
  • the development of industrial relation systems and strengthening of collective bargaining rights.

Playing a role in the metal industry involves having a longer perspective than the next four years. The basic metals, shipbuilding, ICT, machinery and automotive industries require strategic thinking and investment over decades. Industrial policy can only be successful when it encompasses a long-term, sustainable approach.

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