Press releases

Here you find all press releases from the EMF in 2009 and 2010.

The archive.

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Banks must rethink their priorities, ensuring liquidity for the real economy not financial speculation!

Merely two years after having been bailed out by tax payers, banks are again threatening the world economy by giving priority to speculation and opportunism rather than providing liquidity for the real economy. Ulrich Eckelmann, Michael Wolters and Luc Triangle, the General Secretaries of the industrial trade union federations EMF, EMCEF and ETUF-TCL, warn against a reoccurrence of the worldwide liquidity crisis of the financial institutions and banks in particular.


Not again - EMF demands protection for jobs against speculators!

EMF is deeply concerned about the current instability on financial markets and its impact on jobs in the real economy. Once again, fragile recovery is jeopardized by irrational speculation whereas lessons should have been learned from the recent past. “It is time that Europe takes the lead in solidarity and not let workers pay for the excessive behaviour of anonymous and irresponsible speculators,” says EMF General Secretary Ulrich Eckelmann.


EMF sets its political agenda

A sustainable future for metal industries

The EMF Political Resolution: A sustainable future for metal industries - a decent and organised future for metalworkers in Europe, sets out its political agenda for the next four years based on investment, fairness and solidarity.


EMF votes in favour of new European Industry Federation

Towards a European Industrial Trade Union Federation

Today 500 delegates attending the congress of the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) voted unanimously in favour of the creation of a new European Industrial Trade Union Federation.

The development of the EMF is an expression of the desire of the European metalworkers’ unions for closer cooperation. The EMF has gained importance and political weight. Its resources and competences have been enlarged and its functions have been expanded; from a lobbying organisation defending workers’ interests it has primarily developed into a transnational coordination platform.


EMF celebrates 40 years

Creating a counterweight and innovatory force for European workers

To celebrate its 40-year anniversary the European Metalworkers’ Federation (1971 - 2011), has published a book entitled ‘Creating a counterweight and innovatory force for European workers’, that provides an overview of the history of the organisation.


European Metalworkers’ Federation elects new leadership

Today at the fourth Congress of the EMF a new leadership was elected for the next EMF Congress period.

Ulrich Eckelmann, Director of IG Metall’s Department of Economic, Technological and Environmental Policy since 1988 in Germany, was elected new EMF General Secretary having received 99,5% of the votes cast. With a solid trade union background in economic and financial analysis as well as in industrial and collective bargaining policy, the new General Secretary will steer future EMF policies which seek to guarantee a sustainable future for European metal industries and a decent and organised future for metalworkers in Europe.

From left: Renzo Ambrosetti, EMF President (Unia, CH), Ulrich Eckelmann, EMF General Secretary (IG Metall, DE) and Bart Samyn, EMF Deputy General Secretary (ABVV-Metaal, BE)


Investitionen - Gerechtigkeit - Solidarität

EMB-Kongress unter dem Motto: "Investitionen - Gerechtigkeit - Solidarität"

Duisburg - Die rund 600 Delegierten des Europäischen Metallgewerkschaftsbund (EMB) haben auf ihrem vierten Kongress über die Zukunft und Aufgaben der Organisation beraten.

"Das Projekt des geeinten Europas steht vor immensen Herausforderungen. Waren die letzten Jahrzehnte gekennzeichnet von einem vertieften und erweiterten Europa, so stehen wir heute vor der grossen Aufgabe, dieses Europa zu erhalten und zu festigen", sagte Renzo Ambrosetti, Präsident des EMB, am Donnerstag in Duisburg.

English version available for download.


Press conference

The press is cordially invited to attend the Opening Ceremony of the EMF Congress 2011 and Press Conference

on Thursday 9th June 2011

Opening Ceremony: 10.00 a.m. sharp

Press Conference: 1.00 p.m.

Film from press conference

Venue: Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, Emscherstraße 71, D-47137 Duisburg

EMF General Secretary Designate Ulrich Eckelmann gives an interview at the press conference.


International trade union film festival opens on Friday!

‘Unions in Motion’

Complementary to the EMF Congress taking place at the Landschaftspark Nord site this week in Duisburg, Germany, an international trade union film festival opens on Friday, ‘Unions in Motion’.


Alstom Action Day massive success

On 30 May 2011, thousands of workers across Europe participated in the action day organized by the EMF, calling on Alstom management for an ambitious industrial strategy in Europe and opposing any job cuts and forced redundancies.

In Germany: 5000 workers in 10 sites took part in walk-outs and workers assemblies; in Spain, 2000 workers in 3 sites joined a 2 hour strike action; in Italy, workers participated massively in a 3 hour strike action, in Savigliano, the biggest Italian plant 90% of the workforce participated in the strike; in France information meetings were organised, a petition supporting the EMF demands is circulating and has already been signed by 1800 workers; in Belgium more than half of the workforce joined assemblies organised by the trade unions. Information actions in support of the common demands were also organised in Switzerland, Portugal and Croatia.


EMF calls for sustainable employment for ThyssenKrupp workers

On 25th May trade union representatives and works council members from ThyssenKrupp from Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Belgium met in Brussels to discuss the restructuring plan laid down by central management.

The planned measures, which will disband the group and likely to affect 35,000 employees, are a ‘solution’ to the group’s massive debt.


Alstom Action Day

For an industrial development strategy in Europe - Against job cuts and forced redundancies

On 30 May 2011, the trade unions with membership within Alstom are mobilising for a European Action Day at the company’s sites and within the respective surrounding industrial communities of the various countries, to call for an Alstom industrial development offensive in Europe and oppose any job cuts and forced redundancies.


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.


Towards the creation of a European Industrial Trade Union Federation

This article aims at providing information on the creation of a new European Industrial Trade Union Federation (EITUF) representing manufacturing workers in the metalworking, chemical, energy, mining, textile, clothing and leather sectors.


Alstom signs agreement with EMF on anticipation of change

On 24 February 2011, the European Metalworkers' Federation and Alstom met in Paris to sign a European agreement on the anticipation of change and developments at Alstom.


Netherlands - a key player in Belorussian trade

Taking responsibility? Netherlands - a key player in Belorussian trade

Time for the European Union to back the opposition in Belarus and apply economic pressure

After Russia, Netherlands is Belarus’ second biggest trade partner and thus simultaneously the mainstay and Achilles’ heel of the Lukashenko regime[i]. For unclear reasons, there is no trace of this economic relationship in Dutch statistics; however the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) found solid evidence in other sources proving the existence of the ties. The Netherlands is a key player in Belorussian trade and, aside from Russia, the only country that can initiate an effective economic boycott.


Ever greater austerity pushing us into social recession

“Finance Ministers have a responsibility to promote a sustainable growth and jobs agenda, not an ideological attack on workers and welfare states at the request of financial market hawks”, stated EMF General Secretary Peter Scherrer on the eve of a key Finance Ministerial in Brussels.


Manufacturing unions’ joint strategy on stronger workers’ involvement in multinational companies

The three European trade union federations representing manufacturing workers in the metalworking, chemical, energy, mining, textile, clothing, footwear and leather sectors have come together today to call for stronger involvement of workers’ representatives in multinational companies in Europe.


Europe’s Energy Strategy 2011-2020: A Missed Opportunity?

Joint press release from ETUC, EMF, EPSU and EMCEF.

Europe’s energy strategy 2011-2020 is on the agenda at the European Council on 4 February 2011.

It should be possible for the European Union to take some important decisions on energy policy by the European Union in 2011.

However the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF), the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers’ Federation (EMCEF) fear that any decisions taken might be a long way from meeting expectations and the common interest.


Fair trade and investment in alternatives: promoting a sustainable European raw materials policy

Today, the Commission will publish its new European strategy on raw materials, building on initiatives since 2008. The European Metalworkers’ Federation calls for a sustainable strategy promoting Europe’s manufacturing base whilst avoiding a neo-imperialist agenda.

“A coherent EU approach on both primary and secondary raw materials has been urgently needed for some time. This initiative is welcome, but it must be accompanied by coordinated and strong national industrial policies in all member states”, stressed EMF General Secretary Peter Scherrer.


EMF urges Opel to find a best owner

The EMF insists that Opel-Vauxhall continue to seek an investor to allow Automotive manufacturing in Antwerp to remain.


Europe must fight for its manufacturing base

In advance of the publication of the Commission’s new industrial policy agenda next week, European trade union federations representing manufacturing workers in the metalworking, chemical, energy, mining, textile, clothing and leather sectors have come together to call for a strong industrial policy capable of underpinning Europe’s industrial fabric.


Opel/Vauxhall gives Investor and Antwerp Workforce No Chance

(Deutsche Fassung hierunter)

The European Employee Forum’s initiative to directly talk to the potential investor had led to new activities in the deadlocked discussions between management and the investor.


EMF-IMF: 5 pillars of sustainability for the steel industry

Meeting in Cardiff (UK) on 13-14 October, the International and European Metalworkers’ Federations (IMF and EMF) have issued a call for a social and environmental pact for a strong and sustainable steel industry.


Metalworkers stand together for a sustainable future in the FIAT group

“The employee representatives are deeply dissatisfied with FIAT’s understanding of the social dialogue at national and European level”. This is the unanimous statement made by the participants at the trade union coordination meeting organized by the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF).


No to austerity!

Metalworkers call for FTT for investment and jobs to keep our industries afloat!

“European metalworkers have responded en masse to the ETUC call to demonstrate tomorrow against the austerity measures pursued by European governments. Our members are marching with the ETUC here in Brussels and taking part in other trade union actions across Europe to demonstrate the metalworkers’ concerns and fight for jobs in European manufacturing industries,” stated EMF’s General Secretary Peter Scherrer.


An innovative social agreement

The European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF), Alstom and Schneider Electric sign a European agreement regarding the social commitments made in the framework of the joint acquisition of Areva T&D.


Save or sink? What future for shipbuilding in Europe?

“Failure by Europe and its Member States to act now would deal a deathly blow to shipbuilding in Europe” pleaded Heino Bade, chairman of the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) shipbuilding committee at today’s shipbuilding conference in the European Parliament.


Philips makes a mockery of employee participation

Philips does not take employee participation seriously.

That is the conclusion reached by the European Metalworkers’ Federation and FNV Bondgenoten at a Decent Work Conference today in Utrecht.

Philips minimizes the influence of works councils and trade unions at all levels of participation in Europe. Representatives hardly ever have an opportunity to have a dialogue at a strategic level.


Bosch: Eine Belegschaft fährt für ihren Standort

English available in PDF (below)

Originelle Fahrradtour von Vénissieux nach Stuttgart.

Die Belegschaft glaubt an das Wunder: Eine Fahrradtour von Vénissieux nach Stuttgart soll nachhelfen.


Clear political commitment needed to safeguard employment and naval shipbuilding capacity in Europe

"Defence products are political products and jobs in naval shipbuilding depend on political decisions! National governments and the EU have a responsibility for naval shipbuilding and its workforce across Europe", affirmed Peter Scherrer, EMF General Secretary, at today’s EMF Naval Shipbuilding Conference in Brussels.


European metalworkers and employers join forces for a more sustainable EU climate change policy

On 25 May 2010 the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) and the European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries (EUROFER) adopted a “Common position on EU climate policy”.

The metalworkers and employers insist on a sustainable implementation of the EU Emissions Trading Directive (EU ETS) and oppose more ambitious European climate change targets in the absence of other countries committing to comparable measures.

On Wednesday, 26 May, the Commission will decide whether it will propose a unilateral move of the EU from -20% to -30% in CO2 reductions within the next 10 years.


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.”


European automotive unions call on Valeo to negotiate with Korean Metalworkers' Union

In solidarity with workers from South Korea, the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) Automotive Committee calls on French automotive components maker Valeo to enter into negotiations with the union regarding closure of its South Korea plant.


Time to act for social justice in Europe

Today, the European Metalworkers’ Federation has called for a strong signal from EU governments to show concretely that solidarity is a reality within the EU not merely rhetoric in the Lisbon Treaty.

“We are dependent on each other and should not be divided by those aiming to kill social Europe and solidarity for a quick buck”, stated Peter Scherrer (General Secretary of European Metalworkers’ Federation) speaking on the eve of May Day.


EMF welcomes Commission initiative to create a European Automotive Skills Council

The European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) welcomes the EU Commission Communication on a “European Strategy on clean and energy efficient vehicles” published today.


Time to Act: European workers call for EU action on electricity and raw materials prices

Today European trade unions in the basic metals sectors have called on the European Commission to act on increasing speculation on raw materials prices and rising electricity prices.

In a joint letter to Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Council President Herman van Rompuy, the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) and the European Mining, Chemical and Energy workers Federation (EMCEF) have called for immediate action from the EU.


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,


Wind energy: a thriving sector needing thriving unions

As the EU Renewable Energy Week kicks off, metalworking unions from across Europe have taken up the gauntlet of building organising strategies and union coordination to allow workers' rights to grow alongside the nascent European wind energy industry.


Outrageous Bonuses for Top Management in Philips

The European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) condemns the fact that Philip’s management is celebrating the company’s results by dishing out outrageous bonuses to management as revealed in the 2009 annual report.


European trade union action in response to Opel/Vauxhall restructuring

The Opel/Vauxhall case is a bad example of big multinational companies trying to play off workers and unions across borders. There is only one answer to this in the European metal unions’ view: Unity of the unions and the workers across borders to ensure no plant closures and no compulsory redundancies.

Klaus Franz, Chairman Opel EEF, Peter Scherrer, EMF General Secretary, Berthold Huber, President IG Metall.


Press conference

EMF response to Opel/Vauxhall restructuring - Unity of the unions and the workers across borders

Members of the press are cordially invited to attend a press conference held by the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF)

at 18H00 on 23 February 2010

in the EMF offices, 10th Fl., International Trade Union House (ITUH)

5, Boulevard du Roi Albert II, 1210 Brussels.


European action day at Bosch Europe

Metalworkers call for a coherent and consistent industrial policy and for consequent social responsibility of Bosch.

Bosch workers in seven countries (more than 21 production sites) participate on Monday, 22nd February 2010 in protest actions to defend employment.


EMF calls on European Council to support steel sector R&D activities in order to achieve EU ETS target

Whilst welcoming the Commission’s decision on 28 January to maintain the target of a 20% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020 on 1990 levels, the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) believes that this will require far more investment in the development of new process technologies in energy intensive steel and non-ferrous metal industries.


Common position on Antwerp

Common position on Antwerp of the European Employee Forum (EEF), the European Metalworkers’ Federation, the European unions and Works Councils within Opel/Vauxhall

Opel/Vauxhall management breaches the Delta Framework Agreement on the small SUV allocation for the Antwerp plant.

The relocation of the agreed small SUV models is the only reason for the intended closure of Antwerp (see legal statement from GM). There is a pending lawsuit on this matter filed by the unions of Antwerp. It is to be noted that the Antwerp workers have made significant sacrifices since 2007 (€ 20 M. per year) to fulfil the contract from the labour side.


Press Conference: EMF mobilisation and solidarity with GM workers at Opel Antwerp

Members of the press are cordially invited to attend a press conference held by the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF)

at 15H00 today 26 January 2010

in the cafeteria of the GM-Opel plant in Antwerp

(Noorderlaan 401,Haven 500, 2030 Antwerpen)


Draka´s New Year resolution 2010 – 125 workers loose their jobs

As part of cost savings plans within Draka’s Communications Group, the Board of Management of Draka Holding N.V. announced on January 5, 2010 that it intends to close its factory in Årnes (Norway). 125 jobs will be lost in a town with 3289 inhabitants.


European Trade Union Organisations condemn GM decision to close Opel plant in Antwerp

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) condemn today’s decision by GM management to close its Antwerp factory. This will affect 2,600 workers on the site and as many as 10,000 in the supply chain.


Metalworkers call for a strong EU 2020 vision based on social cohesion and sustainable industrial investment

In presenting the view of the European Metalworkers’ Federation to the EU consultation on the future EU 2020 strategy, the EMF has called for social and industrial ambition from the new Commission.

Flash news

EMF Celebrates 40 years! 1971-2011

EMF list of meetings 2011

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