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Meeting of MENA Automotive Union network on Just Transition

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9 April, 2024IndustriALL MENA automotive union network met in Casablanca on 2-3 March to discuss a Just Transition and its impact on workers. 

Leaders of IndustriALL metal and automotive affiliates in the region, Khaled Taher, general secretary of Fédération Nationale de la Métallurgie et des Industries Synthétiques Métallurgiques et Electroniques - FNMISME – UMT, Mohamed Moufid, general secretary of Syndicat National des Industries Métallurgiques et Electromécaniques - SNIME - CDT and Abdelaziz Arfaoui, general secretary of Fédération Générale de la Métallurgie et de l'Electronique - FGME-UGTT focused on the forms of transition in the sector.  Although it is a gradual process, it is necessary to have a proactive approach to address future transformations, especially as the sector today is witnessing important investments in both Morocco and Tunisa. Participants highlighted developments in the sector related to the introduction of new technology, the situation of working women, wage policies, the introduction of robotics and its threat to jobs.

Ahmed Kamel and Georg Leutert from IndustriALL presented the latest developments in union work and the context of the automotive sector at the regional and global level, with a special focus on transformation and due diligence along supply chains. Both stressed that the shift from fossil energy to electric energy responds to a global trend towards decarbonization and global warming. The development of new technologies (digitization, automation and autonomous vehicles) and the consequent changes in the world of work make companies need to change their structures and adopt an approach where social dialogue is based on a genuine partnership with unions.

The meeting also focused on real-life examples from Renault and Stellantis, which have large supply chains in the region. Affiliates presented their action plans on Just Transition and due diligence, to develop a viable programme based on analysis, identifying objectives, strategies, and evaluation.

Action plans will focus on maintaining jobs and decent work, keeping up with the pace of transformation, creating new jobs to compensate for lost ones, preserving workers’ benefits, forming a united national, regional and global front and opening bridges of communication between IndustriALL affiliates to exchange experiences and expertise for advocacy on Just Transition, calling on governments and employers’ organizations for dialogue and creating policy to manage transformation, and providing stability for workers during the transition periods. 

Atle Høie, IndustriALL general secretary, said: 

“Just transition is a very important topic, as the world is witnessing developments and changes reflected in the world of work. One of the most important is the energy transition towards electric cars, which will create new structures in the automotive sector and will have an impact on workers and their professional stability. Unions have a key role to play in this transition by bringing up and supporting workers' demands. We must be prepared for this transformation through social dialogue with employers.”