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Sustainable Industrial Policy launch

17 May, 2013IndustriALL is launching an ambitious initiative on Sustainable Industrial Policy which aims to stimulate debate and action among affiliates and so promote a union perspective on the key sustainability issues for industry.

IndustriALL represents 50 million workers worldwide in extractive, manufacturing and processing industries. The future sustainability of these industries depends on governments making strategic choices. Trade unions have a crucial role to play in working with governments and business to ensure that our present industries are sustainable, that decent, new, greener jobs are created, and that human rights and the environment are respected and protected in the process. 
As trade unions, we need to develop our own vision of how our industries and jobs should be transformed to meet sustainability goals. We must also be able to identify the policy levers that may be used to implement that vision. That is why with our Sustainable Industrial Policy initiative we are taking an integrated approach that recognizes the role of technology, labour standards, social standards, environmental imperatives, trade agreements and the urgent need for governments to formulate progressive industrial policy’ said General Secretary Jyrki Raina. ‘Sustainability is the goal – industrial policy is the route we use to get there.
Based on IndustriALL’s ten point Action Plan, endorsed by affiliates at its founding Congress, the Sustainable Industrial Policy initiative will include:
  • Building a common understanding among affiliates on union priorities for sustainability and how to address them
  • Encouraging affiliates in each industrial sector to develop a strategic approach to sustainability for that sector
  • Identifying and sharing effective strategies that IndustriALL affiliates are using to influence their governments to focus on sustainable industrial policies
  • Building union capacity to develop and promote sustainable industrial policies at national level
  • Promoting discussion at company level through trade union networks in MNCs to identify measures that can be taken jointly by unions in different countries
  • Bringing affiliates together at regional level to identify the key sustainability issues for their region and develop joint actions to promote them.
A first regional meeting on sustainable industrial development has already taken place in sub-Saharan Africa. Affiliates agreed to focus on developing union capacity to demand comprehensive and strategic industrial policies, educating members and raising public awareness to campaign for policies that benefit working people, and developing joint policies for specific industries. Affiliates also agreed to mobilize their members regionally on Africa Industrialization Day in November.
IndustriALL is releasing a discussion paper to kick-start the global initiative on sustainability by providing background on the key issues to be taken into account. It builds on the goals identified in the IndustriALL Action Plan to:
  • Promote strong industrial policies that recognize manufacturing as a key engine of growth for national economies
  • Encourage investment in research and development, and training and skills 
  • Support transfers of skills and technologies to developing countries 
  • Develop a proactive energy policy which establishes security and sustainability as the foundations of industrial production
  • Encompass the principles of Just Transition.
‘I hope that affiliates will use the discussion paper to drive debate among their members on a strategic union approach to Sustainable Industrial Policy’ said Jyrki Raina. ‘We cannot leave decisions about the future of our industries, our jobs and our planet to multinational companies and market forces. Through IndustriALL we can make the voice of industrial workers heard.’