Labour related news


Birlesik plan protest action following continued abuse of trade union and basic workers' rights at MAS-DAF

Since April, more than 110 workers who were illegally fired after joining Birleşik Metal-İş have been holding pickets outside of the MAS-DAF Makina Sanayi factory in Düzce demanding their legitimate right to reinstatement.

MAS-DAF workers are planning to hold protest rallies in front of the ILO Office in Ankara on July 28 and in front of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security on July 29.

MAS-DAF workers are fighting for reinstatement after being summarily fired for joining the Turkish union, Birleşik Metal-İş. In addtion they are protesting against being detained by police forces attempting to stop the union’s second round of actions to force the government to intervene.


Final conference European Steel Council Project

Final conference of the joint EMF/EUROFER EU project “Towards a European steel council on jobs and skills? Identifying the actors”.

Brussels, 15th July 2011

The main objective of the project is to identify the existing structures in each Member State including those organisations active at national and sub-national levels, such as education and training institutions and public authorities responsible for the steel sector.

The final conference aims at presenting results of the project and to assess the possibility to create formal EU sector council on jobs and skills for the European steel industry.


Fair trade in the telecoms industry

The European telecoms industry is facing notably fierce competition from China and a lack of a level playing field. This industry is indispensable for Europe in order to meet the ambitious employment, R&D and innovation objectives set out in the EU2020 Strategy.

We fear that if no action is taken by the EU and its Member States, this European industry risks to disappear. This will imply significant job losses and also a competitiveness loss, with far reaching implications whose impact on EU’s economy and security should not be underestimated.

This document analyses the different issues at stake and it leads us to the inescapable conclusion that action by the EU and Member States is urgently needed.


Global Day of Action

22 June 2011

The Global Day of Action on the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) takes place on 22 June.

EU Finance ministers will be meeting on the 15 June and European Council will be meeting on 23-24 June. This will be a key moment in the campaigning calender to influence decision makers ahead of the G20 in November.


No to austerity governance

Yes to a social European Union based on solidarity

ETUC demonstration in Luxemburg City on 21 June 2011

Governing Europe means giving higher priority to employment and social justice.

Governing Europe also means refusing precarious employment and competitive wage reductions.

We are calling for an urgent change of tack in favour of a social Europe and a new
model of economic governance: European governance which is fair and based on solidarity, and ensures some genuine economic recovery policies.


IF Metall Congress takes off in Stockholm

EMF affiliated organisation IF Metall organises its second congress on 17-20 June 2011 in Stockholm, Sweden. 300 delegates are expected to attend the congress, out of which 30% are women.

The congress aims at taking decisions on three main work plans for the coming years. These are

  • our society and solidarity
  • our work places and the development of sustaionable jobs
  • our organisation and membership

These work plans have been developed by Swedish local and regional IF Metall members.


IBM 100 years - time for workers' rights

On IBM’s 100th birthday, workers ask the company to respect their rights

To mark IBM’s 100th birthday, IBM trade union members have produced a happy birthday video, in which they tell the company it should treat its workers better in its next century.

Global Action Day on 14 June 2011!


Unions in Motion - EMF Film Festival

10-11 June 2011 at Landschaftspark Nord in Duisburg, Germany

'Trade unions using audiovisual tools to illustrate the challenges of a changing society and industry as well as the need to safeguard jobs and a future for all workers.'

Motion graphics and programme in English, German and French are available now!


Peter Scherrer awarded Heart of trade union solidarity

Today Peter Scherrer, General Secretary of the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF), received the ‘Heart of trade union solidarity’ Award.

The award was presented to him by the Presidency of the Council of UATUC/Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia (SMH-IS) at the EMF Congress, which is currently held in Duisburg, Germany. Peter Scherrer is the first non-Croatian metalworker to receive the award.

Vedran Dragicevic, SMH-IS President and Peter Scherrer, EMF General Secretary


Cool communications for unions in change

The Swedish trade union confederation TCO has through its Forum Facket Förändras (the trade union is changing) developed a range of state of the art communication tools with the purpose of showing the value of being a trade union member.

The Forum was launched in 2007 and received thousands of suggestions on how trade unions can be developed.


Violations of Workers’ Rights at MAS DAF in Turkey

The EMF and IMF have today sent a letter to management at MAS DAF Makina Sanayi in Turkey regarding continued serious violations of internationally recognized labour rights at the operations in the Duzce Organized Industrial Zone in Turkey.

The EMF and IMF approached management in October 2010 but labour violations continue.


Social partner participation in the ICT industry

Article in the Social Europe Journal

Modernising industrial relations and adopting new social standards on a legal basis.

The European information and communication technology (ICT) industry is largely based on service providers and less on manufacturing companies. In the past years trade unions have witnessed structural changes in the sector, including an increasing prevalence of outsourcing with its consequences for the European workforce. In addition, the industry is facing numerous challenges to maintain competitiveness and at the same time it is recognised as comprising significant cross-sectoral factors bearing on the European industrial base as a whole.


Industrial relations from a gender perspective

The EMF is contributing to a project on European industrial relations from a gender perspective. It is managed by Uppsala University in Sweden and is financed by the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research.


Frűhschoppen zum Europatag

Sonntag, 08. Mai 2011, Lichthof im Künstlerhaus, Hannover

Gute Arbeit und soziale Gerechtigkeit mit Europa


Global call for sustainable electronics

It is hard to imagine a world without electronics - mobile phones, lap tops, tablets and all the rest. We all use them on a daily basis, at work and at home. Electronics have improved our lives in many ways and also provided work for many people in developing countries and also here at home.

In the drive to keep costs low and incomes high the workers pay the price through low salaries and basically non existent labour rights and conditions. It is time to say stop - make electronics work for workers!

On 7 May 2011 makeITfair and GoodElectronics, organisations that the EMF supports actively, have joined hands in an international action day focusing on giant electronics contract manufacturers.


Global IBM trade union alliance signed

On 6 May 2011 the EMF, IMF and Uni Global Union signed a joint global agreement on a trade union alliance at IBM.

As IBM has set itself up as a truly global company so have trade unions to set up as a truly global alliance cooperating to the maximum extent for the benefit of their members and IBM employees. The EMF will coordinate the cooperation with the members of the IBM European Works Council.


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).


60th anniversary of German Codetermination Act

60 years ago, on 10 April 1951, the German Bundestag passed an important law, "Montanmitbestimmungsgesetz" (parity co-determination for workers in the coal and steel sectors).

It constituted a compromise to a long and hard political struggle at the beginning of the fifties when Germany was on the verge of a general strike.


Engineering construction lock out

GMB, UK Protest & Demo on Monday 4 April 2011 at Hull BP construction site, where 430 workers are locked out.

GMB call on BP, Du Point and British Sugar to join with unions in order get engineering construction members back to work on £200m bio fuel ethanol plant at Saltend, Hull.


First Copernicus Workshop

The first EMF Copernicus Project Workshop took place on 4-5 April 2011 in Brussels.

The specific focus of this 1st workshop was on sector activities in Southern and Western Europe.


Turkey: Mass strike against MESS

Birlesik Metal-Is in Turkey has decided to go on strike in 21 companies after a conflict with MESS (Metal Employers' Federation). The strike takes pace during March and April in several companies around the country.


Libya: Halt the killing and let the people freely express themselves now

The European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) is following the situation in North Africa and the Middle-East closely, as the people across the region make a welcome call for deep change and for the full respect of their political, social and economic rights.

We stand with them against dictatorships and support their call for democratic participation.


EU-China investment agreement

The EMF has prepared an opinion on the European Commission impact assessment on a future EU-China investment agreement.


Unite sends messages of solidarity to the workers of Japan

Len McCluskey, Unite General Secretary has sent a video message expressing his deep shock and sadness at the catastrophe that has taken place in Japan.


Launch event of the Social Innovation Europe initiative

16-17 March 2011, Brussels

The "Social Innovation Europe" initiative is supported by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry. It aims to become a meeting place – virtual and real – for social innovators, entrepreneurs, non-profit organisations, policy makers and anyone else who is inspired by social innovation in Europe.


ICEM, IMF, Norwegian Unions Sign Global Social Accord with Norsk Hydro

Today the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine, and General Workers’ Union (ICEM), the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF) and their Norwegian affiliated trade unions, Fellesforbundet and IndustriEnergi (IE) signed a Global Framework Agreement (GFA) with Norsk Hydro ASA in Oslo.

The agreements covers provisions of freedom of association and collective bargaining rights, discrimination, forced labour, child labour, health and safety, wages, working conditions, employment conditions, skills training, HIV/AIDS, and environmental conditions, referencing the standards established by the core labour conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).


Solidarity with the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia

The EMF expresses its full solidarity and support with the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia against the Slovenian Government's determination to enforce a new form of work, which will substantially reduce workers’ rights and increase precarious work.


EMF letter of condolences to colleagues in Japan

The EMF expresses its deepest sympathy to the members of the Japan Council of Metalworkers' Unions with respect to the earthquake and associated catastrophic events that have happened in Japan in the past few days.


Johnson Matthey’s workers will not be silenced

Joint press release from the Belgian unions (CNE, ACV-CSC Metea, MWB-FGTB and SETCa). Version française ci-dessous.

Since the announcement by the group management on 31 January of their intention to close the Brussels plant, the workers of Johnston Matthey have not accepted their fate passively.

Demonstration in Brussels on 14 March 2011.


Acindar sets benchmark for the rest of Latin America

The ArcelorMittal Joint Global Health and Safety Committee (JGHSC) met on 1-3 March at the Acindar Steel Plant in Argentina. The purpose of the visit was to see how the local joint health and safety committee function and also to carry out a site visit.

The plant produces 90 per cent of Argentina’s long product consumption and has 2675 direct employees. There are two unions present; ASIMRA and UOM and between them the union density is 85 per cent of the workforce.


IG Metall kündigt betrieblichen Aktionstag für „sichere und faire Arbeit“ an

Die IG Metall hat für den 24. Februar einen bundesweiten, betrieblichen Aktionstag gegen Leiharbeit und prekäre Beschäftigung angekündigt.

„Arbeit ist der wertvollste Rohstoff, den Deutschland besitzt. Arbeit darf nicht zur Ramschware verkommen“, sagte Berthold Huber, Erster Vorsitzender der IG Metall, am Donnerstag in Frankfurt.

Wer Leiharbeit und prekäre Beschäftigung fördere oder zulasse, untergrabe daneben massenhaft persönliche Lebensperspektiven. Die IG Metall werde deshalb in den Betrieben ein deutliches Zeichen gegen diesen Trend setzen. „Arbeit muss sicher und fair sein.“


Hearing on intra-corporate transferees

On 23 February 2011 the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels held a hearing on the issue of intra-corporate transferees (ICT): conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals (countries outside of the EU).

The European Institutions and the social partners, including the ETUC, EMF, EFFAT, Eurocadres and Business Europe attended the hearing.


Violations of Workers’ Rights at Tecasa Isi Kontrol As. in Turkey

The EMF and IMF have sent a joint letter to management at Tecasa Isi Kontrol As. in Turkey after reports from affiliated organisation Birlesik Metal-Is of ongoing labour violations.


First trade union coordination meeting on takeover of Draka by cable-manufacturer Prysmian

On February 16th trade union representatives of Draka and Prysmian met in Brussels to talk about the takeover. Prysmian and Draka are both leading cable & system manufacturers, 3rd and 9th respectively in the global ranking.


Demonstration in Kocaeli, Turkey

A demonstration in Kocaeli, Turkey, located about 1 hour from Istanbul, took place today. It was organised by EMF affiliated organisation Birlesik Metal-Is.


En defensa del Derecho a la Libertad Sindical en Mexico

MCA-UGT & FI/CC.OO. Mexico Campaign in Spain.

On 11 February both MCA-UGT and FI/CC.OO. met the Ambassador of Mexico in Spain. The embassy was receptive to the trade union demands and was willing to convey these along with the "manifesto" of both Federations (see below attached) to the Mexican Government and that the unions can expect feed-back.


Europe at a crossroads: Spanish-German trade union statement on austerity

Statement issued by the major trade union centres of Spain and Germany — CC.OO., UGT and DGB — on the occasion of the Spanish-German Summit that took place on 3 February in Madrid.

The statement criticizes the austerity and structural reform policies promoted by EU institutions since they will only impede the recovery and increase inequality.

No to austerity! Priority for jobs and growth. The campaign continues.


European Council Conclusions on Belarus

As expected, the Council of the European Union considered carefully and with respect to further possible positive developments, some measures towards the President and the government of the Republic of Belarus condemning the infringement of human rights in general and individual rights in particular, such as the freedom of expression, freedom of none-interfered gatherings, freedom of none-interfered elections and freedom personal invulnerability.


Global unemployment has reached dangerous levels, ILO report shows

Information from the ILO.

ILO data provides an alarming picture of joblessness, especially among the young, that surely threatens more political instability.


Eramus for Trade Unionists - Final Conference

Brussels, January 26th

Who: 24 trainees + their tutors, 18 sending and 27 receiving organisations from across Europe

The final conference of the project "Towards an Erasmus for Trade Union Officers" was organised by the members of the EMF Staff Networking Policy Group in partnership with the ETUC. This project has enabled 24 students from 18 different organisations to complete an internship in one of 27 hosting organisations.


EMF Youth Officers meeting

Brussels, 25 January 2011

The next meeting for EMF youth officers will discuss the upcoming EMF Congress and the opportunities for youth officers to impact the agenda. The EMF would like to encourage its affiliates to include young people in their Congress delegations.


Sinter Metal appeals to upper court

Following the legal victory of Sinter Metal workers on December 13th and 15th 2010 Sinter Metal has appealed against this decision in the upper court.

In December the Turkish Court declared that the reason behind the dismissals was the workers’ trade union membership and that the workers have to be reinstated.

The workers’ and their union, Birlesik Metal-Is are now waiting for the decision of the upper court, which will be final decision in the process that has taken over two years.


Ireland: Wage setting mechanisms for low-paid sectors

SIPTU, Ireland:

This Union has become aware that the European Commission is involved in discussions with the Irish Government to influence a review of wage-setting mechanisms for certain low-paid sectors of the Irish economy. Workers employed in these industries are not highly unionised and would generally not be covered by collective bargaining agreements, e.g. Cleaners, Catering Operatives, Hotel Staff, Hairdressers, Security Guards.


EU employment strategy to focus on youth

At the informal meeting of Employment Ministers on 17 January in Gödöllö (Hungary), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) welcomed the new employment strategy aimed at creating more quality jobs, respecting labour standards and social rights.


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.


EU-IMF rescue packages: Social Dialogue and Collective Bargaining are under attack

In a letter sent today to EU Commissioner Olli Rehn, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) denounces the diktat pressures from Commission officials to cut minimum wages and pensions, to reduce wage “rigidities” and to make labour markets more flexible in Greece and Ireland.

John Monks, ETUC General Secretary, demands an emergency meeting with Mr Rehn to clarify matters, and warns that ETUC will find it impossible to support action by the EU along these lines.

Flash news

EMF Celebrates 40 years! 1971-2011

EMF list of meetings 2011

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