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SKF World Union Council meets with top management

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7 October, 2022In the first face-to-face meeting in many years, the SKF European Works Council (EWC), World Union Council (WUC), and SKF top management met in Gothenburg, Sweden, to discuss the company’s strategy and future.

Around 40 union leaders from almost all countries where SKF has operations came together from 3-6 October. Welcoming participants, WUC chairman Kenneth Carlsson, underlined the importance of representatives from SKF’s Ukraine operations joining the meeting.
On the first day, delegates from Europe discussed with management on future activities, strategies and the footprint of SKF. The energy crisis and consequences of Russia’s war on Ukraine were other topics during the European Works Council meeting.
The second day was dedicated to internal discussions of the WUC, the global social dialog body. The steering committee reported on the latest developments, and IndustriALL director for mechanical engineering Matthias Hartwich said:

“The SKF WUC is unique: it’s a very mature body for social dialogue on a global level, dedicated to union involvement. The cooperation among all different trade unions for the sake of SKF’s workers – regardless of if they are white or blue collar – is crucial for the workforce. And this is even more important in times of crises and change. As trade unions, we take the responsibility to pilot our members through the challenges of green tech and digitalization; our goal is to make this a just transition.”

Marie Nilsson, president of IndustriALL's  Swedish affiliate IF Metall, joined the meeting and addressed the changes in the industrial setting in Sweden, making special reference to the development of a sustainable industrial policy related to green technologies. She greeted the Ukrainian delegation and assured them of IF Metall’s solidarity.
On the third day, delegates received input from SKF top management. CEO Rickard Gustafson and head of human resources Ann-Sofie Zaks presented on strategic goals and the future footprint of the group. The presentations were followed by discussions with participants.
Kenneth Carlsson and WUC vice-president from Germany Norbert Völkl, demanded on behalf of the WUC to be informed and consulted on strategic discussions and decisions, making sure that unions have a say. The CEO and the management team promised to fulfill this demand, which the WUC will follow up on.