The European shipbuilding industry is a high-tech sector and a vital part of Europe’s maritime industry which comprises of all branches involved in the waterborne transport of good and people as well as maritime manufacturing and services. The EMF develops its own strategies for the shipbuilding sector within the context of an overall European maritime policy in order to ensure a competitive industry with high levels of high quality employment.

Over the last 20 years the European shipbuilding sector has undergone far-reaching structural changes. Since the mid-70s three out of every four workers employed in the shipyards have been made redundant. Some European countries have abandoned shipbuilding activities altogether. Today, approximately 300 shipyards operate in a maritime industrial network of more than 9000 companies. The shipbuilding sector employs around 110.000 people directly and European shipbuilding companies and suppliers directly and indirectly employ around 350.000 people.

Through its activities the EMF shipbuilding committee has made a major contribution to shaping EMF sectoral policies. It is engaged in an active dialogue with the European Commission services and the European Parliament. It staged the first European-wide action day in 1999 against global competitive distortions. It contributed to and participated in the development of the EU industrial policy initiative LeaderSHIP 2015. Furthermore, the shipbuilding sector was the first branch of the metal sector to develop an institutionalized sectoral social dialogue with the CESA, the Community of European Shipyards’ associations.

For more information, please contact Shipbuilding social dialogue


European Maritime Day: Puts people first?

“Real commitment to maritime workers and concrete action by the EU and its Member States are needed to maintain and develop high quality jobs in healthy and competitive maritime industries.

For the EMF, “putting people first” – the motto of today’s European Maritime Day, means giving real perspectives to workers in the maritime sectors” states Peter Scherrer, EMF General Secretary.


State Aid for the European shipbuilding industry

In line with its policy to involve local civil society, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is holding a public hearing in Gdansk on 18 April 2011.

The EMF will be represented by Miroslaw Piorek (Solidarnosc, member of the EMF shipbuilding committee) to highlight the situation in the Polish shipbuilding industry and Ruud van den Bergh (member of the EMF shipbuilding committee and chairman of the EU shipbuilding social dialogue committee).


Workplace fatalities continue in Turkish shipyards

The EMF is outraged that workplace fatalities continue in Turkish shipyards.

On 2 October 2010 the body of a shipyard worker from Tuzla (Çiçek shipyard) was discovered in the sea, where his death four days earlier had gone unnoticed.


Shipbuilding that is us

The EMF is increasing pressure this autumn in support of the crisis-stricken shipyards in Europe, whose fate is largely ignored by politicians.

Member organisations will be organising various national actions under the motto: ‘Shipbuilding – that is us!’.

They will be calling on the EU and national governments to start a common European initiative to safeguard shipbuilding in Europe.

The shipbuilding campaign lifeboat will participate in the ETUC’s European manifestation on 29th September in Brussels to highlight the critical situation in European shipbuilding.


EU should support the stricter IMO regulation of the sulphur content in marine fuels in European ECAs

The EMF and a number of affiliated organizations active in shipbuilding joined a protest initiative of IG Metall Küste and the German environmental campaign platform against attempts to weaken the 'sulphur limitation regulation' that applies in European Emission Control Areas (ECA) at sea.

(IMO-International Maritime Organisation)


Joint letter of EMF and CESA to President Buzek

Regarding European Parliament initiatives in the European shipbuilding industry.


Save or sink?

Save or sink? What future for shipbuilding in Europe?

Conference in the European Parliament on the Future of Shipbuilding in Europe

On 24 June 2010 the EMF cooperates once more with the shipbuilders’ association CESA in the organization of a shipbuilding conference in the European Parliament.

The main aim of the conference is to call for a European Emergency Programme in aid of the crisis-stricken shipbuilding sector.


EMF urges EU Competitiveness Council to adopt an emergency programme for European shipbuilding

“Urgent action is needed from the EU Member States represented in the Competitiveness Council to resolve the desperate situation in the shipbuilding industry” stressed EMF General Secretary, Peter Scherrer at the EMF shipbuilding committee meeting on 20-21 May in Vigo, Spain.

Outlining the situation he went on to say, “The shipbuilding industry is not like any other industry. It is a key driver for environmentally friendly and technologically advanced products.”


Shipbuilding Committee in Vigo, Spain

The meeting of the EMF Sector Committee Shipbuilding takes place in Vigo, Spain on 20-21 May 2010.

The meeting includes a study trip to the Navantia Shipyard in Ferrol.

From left: Felipe Lopez, General Secretary FICCOO, Heino Bade, chairman EMF shipbuilding committee, Abel Caballero Alvarez, Mayor of Vigo, Teresa Santero Quintilla, Industry Minister of Spain, Peter Scherrer, EMF General Secretary and Manuel Fernando Lopez, General Secretary MCA-UGT.


Croatian shipbuilding workers' union and EMF meet with European Commission

On 7 May 2010 representatives from Croatian shipbuilding workers' union and EMF General Secretary Peter Scherrer, met with Alexander Italianer, Director General for DG Competition to discuss the privatisation of Croatian shipyards.


LeaderSHIP Conference on the crisis in shipbuilding

On 21 April 2010 the Basque Government President Mr. Patxi López will be hosting a LeaderSHIP Conference in Bilbao, Spain to which government representatives of EU Member States as well as European policy makers will be invited.


Shipbuilding regions send a strong political signal

Joint press release from EMF and CESA (Community of European Shipyards' Associations).

A joint declaration by 33 regional governments on the future of the European shipbuilding industry was handed over today to Professor Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament as well as representatives of the European Council, the European Commission and the President of the Committee of the Regions,


Fatal accidents and extremely precarious conditions continue in Turkish shipyards

The EMF sent a letter of condolences to Limter-Is President, Cem Dinc and Limter-Is General Secretary Karber Saygili (with a copy to Birlesik Metal-Is) concerning the further fatal accidents and precarious working conditions in Tuzla Shipyards.


International trade union support for workers in shipyards

During today’s discussion with Vedran Dragičević, SMH Acting President, the General Secretary of the European Metalworkers’ Federation, Peter Scherrer, supported all trade union activities undertaken by the Metalworkers’ Trade Union of Croatia (SMH) towards the Croatian Government with the aim of saving Croatian shipyards.


Shipbuilding - That is us

Shipbuilding action day in Bremerhaven on 10-11 September 2009.

At the event of the LeaderSHIP 2015 High Level Group meeting on 11 September 2009 in Bremerhaven, Germany IG Metall and the EMF are organising an action day to demand a common European strategy to overcome the crisis in shipbuilding and to fend off employment losses in the sector.


LeaderSHIP 2015 High Level Group meeting

At the event of the LeaderSHIP 2015 High Level Group meeting on 11 September 2009 in Bremerhaven, Germany IG Metall and the EMF are organising an action day to demand a common European strategy to overcome the crisis in shipbuilding and to fend off employment losses in the sector.


Avoid Redundancies – Safeguard Competitiveness – Enter New Markets

Trade union representatives of the EMF demand common European strategy to overcome the crisis in shipbuilding

The European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) demands a common European strategy for the future of shipbuilding in Europe.


IMF and EMF call for a new independent authority to govern ship breaking

In a joint submission to the European Commission, the International and European Metalworkers’ Federations have called for the establishment of a new independent authority to regulate one of the world’s most dangerous industries, ship-breaking.


The Turkish shipbuilding expansion: putting profits before health and safety and risking workers’ lives!

Against the backdrop of continued fatal accidents in Turkish shipyards, major Turkish ship owners and shipyard owners meet together today at the Mare Forum Istanbul 2009 to debate “The Turkish Expansion”.


Situation in Croatian Shipyards

The President of the Croatian Metalworkers’ Trade Union SMH, Ivo Marianovic and the EMF General Secretary, Peter Scherrer met on the 7th of January with Hannes Swoboda, member of the European Parliament and responsible for the relations with the countries of South-East Europe...


Meeting of the EMF shipbuilding committee in Istanbul

Meeting of the EMF shipbuilding committee in Istanbul – an activity within the framework of mobilising against precarious work.

Dates: 8-10 October (including a visit to the DESAN shipyard on 10th October)

Partners: EMF, Limter-Is (representing workers in the shipbuilding sector) and Birlesik Metal-Is. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation is lending financial and logistical support for the event.

Flash news

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