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Piloting workers in mechanical engineering towards a greener future

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16 November, 2022Over 70 delegates from around the world met online on 10 November to discuss challenges and opportunities related to green technologies in mechanical engineering and beyond.

Participants discussed the research report from late 2021 and its implications for the future trade union work in the sector, as well as potential organizing and campaigning in the growing segment of green tech. The war in Ukraine overshadows the sector’s economic situation in many regions of the world, in particularly by causing disruptions in the supply chain.

For IndustriALL, green tech activities in the sector are part of the overall strategy to work on a just transition and to create a sustainable industrial policy, in accordance with the strategic goals adopted at the 2021 congress.

“Green tech represents the future of mechanical engineering and goes hand in hand with digitalization. We face a double challenge to be present in the smart plants of the future. Our most promising approach is to embrace the changes and pilot our members through it. We are here to work on a better future for our members,”

said sector director Matthias Hartwich.

Rainer Wimmer, president of IndustriALL Austrian affiliate Pro-Ge and sector co-chair, said:

"Five years ago, we started to look more closely at green tech. We made it the main topic of our world conference in Stuttgart in 2019, we have had a lot of input from individual countries and regions, and we commissioned a scientific study together with Syndex. Now we want to bring this knowledge to the ground with our power and make sure that green jobs become good jobs.”

The meeting took place as COP27 was under way in Egypt, underlining the urgency of greening the industrial production in all discussions. Participants agreed that the transition must be a just transition, and renewed the position from the Green tech manifesto, adopted in November 2020.

According to the manifesto, affiliates in the sector are willing to   

  • facilitate exchange between affected affiliates in the sector over new trends, especially focusing on green tech, digitization and related developments
  • organize training for union organizers and work councils to develop new methods, strategies and services to approach and recruit new employees at green workplaces
  • involve young workers and women
  • intensify efforts to increase union power in the affected sectors through organizing and recruiting