The European Metalworkers Federation (EMF) is an umbrella organisation The EMF was established in 1971 and in 2011 celebrated its 40th Anniversary.

The EMF acts on behalf of representative metalworkers' unions from across Europe. The EMF is therefore the representative body defending the interests of workers in the European metal industry.

According to its Statutes, the EMF has a mandate for the external representation and coordination of the metalworkers' unions. On the basis of those Statutes and the Executive Committee's decisions the EMF can also coordinate and initiate cross-border trade union actions. In addition to this, in principle it also has a mandate to engage in bargaining at European level.

The EMF's highest body is its Congress. Ulrich Eckelmann (IG Metall, Germany) and the Deputy General Secretary is Bart Samyn (CMB, Belgium). The President of the EMF is Renzo Ambrosetti (Unia, Switzerland).

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Aims & Tasks

One of the EMF's main aims is the deepening of the social dimension in the process of European integration. The EMF contributes to it by representing the economic and social interests of workers in the metal industry at European level.

The EMF advocates a social Europe characterised by democracy, freedom, social justice and solidarity. It also defends and promotes the ability of the European social model to face up to future challenges. At the same time it supports Europe's political and economic integration, whilst bearing in mind the unions' traditions and roots in the culture of their own respective nation states. The EMF's core tasks are:

  • To defend the trade union, social and political interests of the European metalworkers' unions vis-a-vis the European employers' organistaions in the metal industry.
  • To coordinate and implement the initiatives and actions of the European metalworkers' unions at European level.
  • To serve its member organsiations (affiliates) where European interests are involved.
  • To collaborate with the other federations affiliated to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
  • To represent the European interests of the metalworkers' unions at an international level.

Areas of work

The main areas of work are: Industrial Policy, Collective Bargaining Policy, Company Policy and the Social Dialogue.

Industrial Policy focuses on keeping and developing a strong manufacturing base in Europe and future employment interests of workers in the European metal industry. The EMF is helping to structure the changes in the metal industry brought about by globalisation and seeks to strike a balance between employment interests and competitiveness in its representation of its members' interests.

Collective Bargaining Policy includes the coordination of wage policy, the harmonisation of working time policy and the joint approach to training policy through collective agreement. The EMF also plays an active role in intersectoral negotiations at a European level.

Company Policy focuses on all elements of workers' interests in a multinational company ranging from economic and industrial development, restructuring and re-organisation and working conditions. It covers information and consultation rights at European level (European Works Councils, EWC) as well as participation rights (Company Statue). At the same time the EMF supports the development of a negotiation role in multinational companies. The EMF company policy involves the European Works Councils, the workers' representatives on company boards, the national trade unions and the EMF EWC coordinators.

Social Dialogue focuses on building lasting and meaningful dialogue structures with European-level employers’ and industry associations in the metal sector. The social dialogue is being developed at the metal sectoral level with the employers’ organisation CEEMET as well as at the level of sub-sectors such as the shipbuilding and steel industries. Through the Social Dialogue the EMF seeks to develop common solutions to meet the challenges of global competition and industrial change affecting the metalworking sector across Europe. The EMF strives to improve the economic and social situation of workers by reconciling the legitimate social interests of workers and the need for competitive industries.


The EMF seeks consensus and reconciliation of interests through information, consultation and negotiation.

The most important tools are:

  • Dialogue with and the submission of demands to European institutions such as the Council, Parliament and the Commission.
  • Dialogue and the proactive defence of workers' demands in the context of cooperation with European metal industry employers, industry federations and multinational companies.
  • Initiating and coordinating cross-border European actions aimed at enforcing union demands in the European metal industry.
  • The negotiation of positions and framework agreements on the basis of the EMF Statutes.
  • Information and guidance about developments at European level.


These are the statutes of the European Metalworkers' Federation.

They were approved by the 4th EMF Congress in Duisburg, 9th & 10th June 2011.

Political Resolution 2011-2015

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

Work Programme

This is the Work Programme of the European Metalworkers' Federation.

It was approved by the 4th EMF Congress in Duisburg, 9th & 10th June 2011.

Report of Activities 2007-2011

The EMF Report of Activities 2007-2011 was approved by the forth Congress on 9-10 June 2011 in Duisburg.


The EMF is cooperating with the following organisations.


Please find here a glossary containing words and phrases relating to EMF work

Flash news

EMF Celebrates 40 years! 1971-2011

EMF list of meetings 2011