Social dialogue is an important feature of European industrial relations. In many European countries it is the backbone of strong and sustainable Metal, Engineering and Tech-based industries, a sector that creates well-paid and qualitative employment for Europeans.

As social dialogue is an essential part of the European social model, MEPs Gabriele Bischoff (S&D; DE) and Dragos Pîslaru (Renew Europe; RO) co-hosted the Social Partner Breakfast with industriAll Europe and Ceemet to share insights with Members of the European Parliament on:

  • what social dialogue in the industrial sector can do and what it does on EU level
  • what the challenges and opportunities are that social partners identified

Social Dialogue Social Partners

A well-functioning social dialogue at all levels is essential.

Social dialogue helps to find answers to questions raised by a changing world of work. It is about the art of finding common and balanced solutions to up-coming challenges such as the transition to a carbon-neutral manufacturing industry, digitalisation, the transformation of the world of work or the ageing of the population. Therefore, it is important to know that:

  • Collective bargaining between representative, mandated and autonomous social partners is a tool to successfully drive change. Quality, up-to date collective bargaining sustains and improves employment and working conditions while contributing to a competitive industry in Europe.
  • industriAll Europe and Ceemet are committed to support the strengthening of collective bargaining in Europe while rejecting political interference, including on wage setting, imposing a weakening of collective bargaining systems.
  • industriAll Europe and Ceemet believe that the role of sector social dialogue differs from the cross-sectoral dialogue in that it is closer to the industry and therefore addresses more specific issues

Social dialogue is more than regulating employment relationships.

‘Training & Education’ is another area where both sides of the industry have something to gain, consequently social dialogue plays also an important role. In that context both have long been jointly advocating for first-class Vocational Education and Training (VET) strategies.

It is during the crisis that it became for a broader audience more obvious how social partners made the difference. In countries, where they developed innovative solutions to deal with the downturn in economic activities while retaining the skilled workforce, labour markets proved to be more resilient.

Unsurprisingly as they are best placed to decide on how to share the value added created between workers and employers.

“The digital and low-carbon transformation of the industries will heavily impact the industrial world of work and social partners have a responsibility and knowledge to break new ground.”

“By contributing to that transformation social partners will shape European manufacturing industries, ensuring a sustainable future in Europe for both manufacturing industries and industrial workers, and eventually Europe as a whole.”

concludes Uwe Combüchen Director General of Ceemet.

It is a European Union that delivers economic prosperity, growth and jobs based on a strong competitive industry that can sustain Europe´s high social standards. Logically, the MET social partners strongly believe in and support the European project.