More than 40 trade union delegates from all regions where SKF operates met from 18 to 21 September 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden, the home city and the headquarters of the global leader in bearings solutions including bearings, sealings and components. The World Union Committee now represents SKF employees from twenty countries.
In an internal meeting the WUC delegates had an intensive exchange about the situation in their respective countries. The delegates also discussed and prepared for a joint meeting with the group management.
During the joint meeting, workers’ representatives talked with SKF top-management about the future of this global company in a changing world. SKF is one of the mechanical engineering sector companies that is very active in digitisation and Industry 4.0. So, the company used the concept of "World Class Manufacturing" to describe the company’s approach in this area.
Delegates had the chance to visit one of the new World Class Manufacturing production channels in the Gothenburg "mother factory" on 21 September. This development creates the necessity for a renewed social dialogue in SKF group. The first meeting ever of the European Works Council which took place on 18 September was part of this approach.
During the meeting, the opportunities and challenges of the fourth industrial revolution were the main topics, together with the Working Climate Analysis and health and safety issues.
Company top management, ranging from CEO Alrik Danielson who addressed the delegates, Carina Bergfelt, senior vice president and head of HR who introduced herself and her ideas on HR policies, and Kent Viitanen, president and head of bearings operations who informed the delegates about the status in bearings operations in SKF, used the opportunity to not only address the union representatives but also to enter in a dialogue with the delegates about the future of the company in a changing industrial environment.
Matthias Hartwich, IndustriALL director, said about the meeting:
“SKF is not only number one in bearings solutions worldwide. The company also claims to be benchmark in social dialogue and labour relations. The European Works Council and World Union Committee are looking forward to entering in a new stage of social dialogue on European and also global level, now that already twenty countries send delegates or observers to the global meeting.”