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The EU should join forces to combat COVID-19 and reboot industry


12 Jun 2020


An industriAll Europe & Ceemet joint position

In a joint statement, social partners from the metal, engineering and tech-based industries (MET) Ceemet and industriAll European Trade Union call for:

  • a coordinated response to deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • an ambitious plan for a fair and collective recovery, that strengthens the unique industrial ecosystem in Europe and builds an industry that is resilient and sustainable offering good jobs

IndustriAll Europe and Ceemet welcome the Next Generation EU proposal from the Commission and are fully committed to support the collective efforts.

Keeping workers safe and at work

Many MET workers are in the front line of fighting against the pandemic and many companies contribute to its containment by stepping up efforts to reconvert activities to produce essential products or develop tracing apps. Keeping manufacturing workers safe and creating healthy and safe workplaces is a pre-condition to resume production, for example by  supporting telework where possible or applying rules on social distancing.

But it will be the system of short time work, widely used by companies in the MET sector, preventing workers losing their jobs and facilitating companies to restart within the current circumstances. In this context, Ceemet and IndustriAll Europe welcome the SURE programme, short time work system on the  EU level, but know that this will not be sufficient on its own.

Common interests result in common concerns

IndustriAll Europe and Ceemet are deeply concerned of the impact  the COVID-19 pandemic  on the economy and thus on companies, including tens of thousands of small and medium-sized companies in the supply chain and millions of workers.

Therefore, both social partners welcome the €540 billion safety nets for workers and companies, that have been agreed in April this year. What is needed now, is swift agreement of the  overall Next Generation EU Commission proposal, a sense of responsibility amongst the Member States and determination to agree on and implement the next Multiannual Financial Framework.

The proposal to boost the economy and bring people back to work must and will be sustainable by making Europe a key enabler for the transition to a digital and greener economy. In combination with investments in training and retraining, paying particular attention to the situation of young workers and apprentices, Europe can create qualified  people to work in the green and smart industries of the near future. Eventually leading to a stronger Europe.

Ceemet Director General Uwe Combüchen : “Strong and autonomous social partnership contributed to shaping resilient labour markets. Today it bears fruit as social dialogue and collective bargaining have contributed to responding to the COVID-19 crisis protecting workers health and safety, their income and their jobs while facilitating production under these challenging circumstances. Once again, social partners show that they make the difference.”

IndustriAll Europe Secretary General Luc Triangle: “We should  learn from the past and not repeat the mistakes of the last economic crisis. The recovery plan must be based on sustainability, investment and solidarity as well as on a transition to a more sustainable and digital industry. This transition must be based on Just Transition principles so that no worker, no industry and no region is left behind.”


Please find attached the full joint statement in English, German and French.


Ceemet – European Tech & Industry Employers

industriAll European Trade Union

The Council of European Employers of the Metal, Engineering and Technology-based industries is the European employers’ organisation representing the interests of the metal, engineering and technology-based industries. Through its national member organisations it represents 200 000 companies across Europe. The vast majority of them are SMEs, providing over 35 million jobs of direct and indirect employment.

industriAll European Trade Union is the voice of 7 million working men and women across supply chains in manufacturing, mining and energy sectors across Europe. We aim to protect and advance the rights of the workers.

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