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EU industrial policy must address social issues

18 October, 2012While supporting the European Commission’s new industrial policies, trade unions argue that they contradict the austerity policies currently in force in Europe.

IndustriAll European Trade Union welcomes the new industrial policy released by the Commission, but argues that it fails to adequately deal with the growing social issues that continue to threaten Europe and if the European Commission sticks to its current austerity policy the goals to revive industry in Europe will not be reached.

In a policy paper published on 10 October, the European Commission attempts to re-launch manufacturing activity and bring industries back to Europe.

"We are glad to see that the Commission shares our view that only a strong European industry can bring about economic recovery after years of crisis," said Ulrich Eckelmann, General Secretary of IndustriAll European Trade Union. IndustriAll European Trade Union is now waiting for appropriate financing proposals as the financing concept contained in the policy document would not be sufficient to increase industrial growth.

IndustriAll European Trade Union has signed on to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) resolution; “A Social Compact for Europe”. An important element for ETUC is to have the means and resources for training to keep having a qualified workforce.

"The EU must swing into action on industrial policy. European workers can no longer be content with declarations of hypothetical support for industry," said Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary of ETUC. European industrial policy should also focus on forward-looking industries, such as energy and transport, in order to achieve a green and sustainable economy.

The ETUC Executive Committee meeting on 17 October called for a day of action and solidarity on 14 November, including strikes, demonstrations, rallies and other actions, mobilizing the European trade union movement behind ETUC policies as set down in the Social Compact for Europe.