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IndustriALL gives voice to workers at OECD Steel Committee

13 May, 2015At the OECD Steel Committee on 11 – 12 May in Paris, France, participants discussed steel market developments, industry viability and competitiveness, trade policies, excess capacity.

IndustriALL Global Union representatives at the OECD Steel Committee, IndustriALL assistant general secretary Fernando Lopes and Rob Johnston, industrial director at Community the union UK, highlighted the importance of considering the impact on workers in addressing these issues.

IndustriALL drew attention to workplace developments in the industry, underlining the importance of giving workers and their unions a voice in the workplace. There is a wealth of literature demonstrating how workers having a voice and engagement are good for business.

Rob Johnston says:

Bad examples such as Tata Steel UK’s decision to close its pension scheme casts a shadow over the whole industry. This undermines its own internal values and undermining its claims to be the worlds most ethical company.

Equality continues to be a major challenge in the steel industry. Opportunities for women vary from employer to employer, but the industry could do better in having more women in senior positions. Women must not be under-utilised in the workplace, which is not only unjust but also unfair and a loss to the industry.

Fernando Lopes concludes:

A proactive industrial policy to promote the continuous improvement of infrastructure is fundamental to increase the consumption of steel and to underpin employment security within the industry.

The Committee consists of 25 OECD member countries, plus associate members and other invited government participants. The Committee provides a forum for governments, producers and unions to address the evolving challenges facing the steel industry and to identify political solutions to encourage open and transparent markets for steel.