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IndustriAll European trade union launched

17 May, 2012Three federations merge to become IndustriAll European trade union, demanding industrial growth and more jobs.

BELGIUM: The European Metalworkers' Federation (EMF), the European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers' Federation (EMCEF) and the European Trade Union Federation for Textiles, Clothing, Leather and Footwear (ETUF-TCL) formally merged in Brussels on 16 May to become IndustriAll European trade union.

More than 550 delegates and guests at the founding congress witnessed the creation of the new organization that represents 7 million workers in the metal, chemical, energy, mining, textile, clothing and leather industries in Europe.

"IndustriAll European trade union will draw its clout not merely from strength of numbers but from our clear resolve to be a powerful, purposeful and effective player in the European political arena in order to best represent the interests of industrial workers in Europe," stated Michael Vassiliadis, the newly elected president. Vassiliadis is president of the chemical, energy and mineworkers union IGBCE of Germany.

"IndustriAll European trade union stands for a change of course for Europe," declared Ulrich Eckelmann, elected General Secretary. "Europe needs sustainable industrial growth, more jobs and improved job security, greater participation rights for workers and citizens, and greater solidarity and fairness in distributing income and wealth in Europe."

The founding congress adopted a political resolution that lays the foundation for work in four key policy areas: industrial policy, company policy, collective bargaining and social dialogue. The resolution calls for an end to austerity policies and investment in economic growth. The work on multinational companies will focus on the coordination of some 600 European Works Councils (EWC).

The congress elected as vice presidents Valeria Fedeli (Filctem-CGIL, Italy), Anders Ferbe (IF Metall, Sweden) and Renzo Ambrosetti (UNIA, Switzerland), and as deputy general secretaries Bart Samyn (EMF), Sylvain Lefebvre (EMCEF) and Luc Triangle (ETUF-TCL).

IndustriALL European trade union will be governed by an executive committee where all the 200 affiliated unions have a seat, and a smaller steering committee.

The European merger will be followed by the creation of IndustriALL Global Union at the world level on June 18-20 in Copenhagen.