Social Dialogue

The Social Dialogue focuses on building lasting 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.

For more information, contact Andrea Husen-Bradley, Senior Adviser.

European Commission Social Dialogue website.


Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Metal

Report from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.

This report sets out to provide the necessary information for evaluating sectoral social dialogue in the metal industry.


The functioning and potential of European sectoral social dialogue

Since 1998, the European Commission has created 40 sectoral social dialogue committees, which cover 145 millions workers in Europe and sectors of crucial importance (such as transport, energy, agriculture, construction, commerce, fisheries, public services, metal, shipyards, education).

These committees have produced more than 500 texts of varying legal status, going from joint opinions and responses to consultations to agreements that have been implemented by EU Directives.

In this way, the European sectoral social partners have contributed to improving European employment and social policies, as well as working conditions in Europe.

They have contributed to modernising industrial relations and to adopting new social standards. They will contribute to the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy framework, thereby strengthening ownership and implementation of the strategy.

Metal sector: EMF-CEEMET

Following the successful cooperation between EMF and CEEMET (Council of European Employers of the Metal, Engineering and Technology-Based Industries) in their joint “ad hoc” working group on skills shortages both organisations agreed to set up a permanent social dialogue structure.

Through their dialogue both organisations seek to contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that ensures a competitive manufacturing sector able to deliver high quality and sustainable employment. Equipping workforces and companies in the metal sectors to meet the challenges arising from globalization and the need to cope with ever faster technological and organizational changes is of vital importance in this context.

Sectoral level: steel

The social dialogue in the steel sector is developing on two levels. After the expiry of the ECSC Treaty the activities of the Consultative Committee are to be transferred into the reformed Ecosoc. The Mixed Committee Steel is to be developed into a sectoral social dialogue structure on the basis of the Commission communication. Close cooperation with Eurofer is the basis for continuing the close relationship between the social partners in steel established over 50 years ago.

Sectoral level: shipbuilding

The European Social Dialogue Committee on shipbuilding and ship repair was formed in September 2003. Its development followed the successful cooperation between EMF and CESA (Community of European Shipyards’ Associations) of previous years and has been institutionalised under the auspices of the European Commission.

The social dialogue in the shipbuilding sector is conducted on the basis of a joint work programme and has concentrated on the issues of managing industrial change, education and training, workers mobility and the sector’s image and future industrial perspectives.

More infomation about the EMF sectoral work on shipbuilding.

nepSi - Agreement on respirable silica

Signature of the Agreement on Workers Health protection through the Good Handling and Use of Crystalline Silica and Products containing it.

An important agreement has been concluded for the prevention of risks and the protection of workers exposed to Respirable Crystalline Silica (CRS).
The agreement will directly affect the workers of a number of European industry sectors including the European foundry sector for which the EMF and its affiliated members negotiated. As such it is the first European agreement that has been negotiated for a branch of the metal sector. The agreed measures and principles should make a major contribution to preventing or minimizing exposure to CRS and thus effectively protecting the health and improving the quality of working life of all workers exposed to the substance at the workplace. The agreement gives concrete sector-specific guidance on the practical application of the safe handling of the substance.

The agreement was signed at an official ceremony on 25 April 2006.

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