IMF Global Conference on Mechanical Engineering EMF Experiences in networking in the subsectors of the Mechanical Engineering Sector (Cincinnati 18-19 May 2011 Joachim Stöber)
Contents • About the EMF and the industrial sectors covered • Activities and the first experiences in the mechanical engineering sector • Networking experiences in the agricultural machinery sector • Employee network in Germany since 1999 • European Project Agritech I 2007 – 2008 • European Project Agritech II 2009 – 2010 • Wind Energy Project (SWREWES) 2009 – 2010 • Networking experiences in the construction machinery and construction material engineering sector • Copernicus – EMF Project 2010 -2011
About the EMF and the Industrial Sectors • The EMF was established in 1971 and is an umbrella organisation representing 75 metalworking unions from 34 countries with a combined total of 5.5 million members • A major focus of EMF’s work is on the following industrial sectors: Aerospace, Automotive, ICT, Lifts, Shipbuilding, Steel, Mechanical Engineering and more • In general the mechanical engineering industries are made up of a wide range of small and medium sized companies in Europe. With about 24.500 companies directly employing more than 2.6 million workers, the mechanical engineering sector is by far the biggest industry sector. It is a major driver of innovation. • The mechanical engineering sector was not part of the work programme adopted by the EMF Congress in Prague 2003 meaning that a few years ago there was a need to start a new initiative
Initial Activities and Experiences in the Mechanical Engineering Sector • The EMF’s Mechanical Engineering Committee was newly founded after the last EMF Congress in Lisbon, 2007. It started as an ad hoc working group and built on experience in the lift sector. • The starting point for the work was based on the knowledge that the situation in the sector varies widely depending on the sub sectors and the EU Member States • To gain a better understanding of the actual situation, it was decided to develop a kind of inventory of the sector in the form sub-sectoral projects • Therefore the Mechanical Engineering Industry, from the point of view of the EMF’s work, was divided into different sub sectors including: lifts, agriculture machinery, construction machinery, wind energy etc. Each of the sub-sectors has its own special strategic importance for European manufacturing and services. • This approach was tested out in the agricultural machinery sector – in the AgriTech Project.
Networking Experiences in the Agricultural Industry • Already in 1999 members of work councils as well as employee representatives from 16 companies of the agricultural engineering industry of Germany met in the city of Rheine invited by the Krone works council. The local IG Metall officers were invited to establish a network of employees: “The employee Network – Agricultural Engineering” • After a period of about 10 years, IG Metall of Germany published a report on the networking experiences and activities in the German agricultural machinery industry that was entitled “Agricultural Engineering: 10 years’ sectoral coordination of IG Metal Works Councils” • In addition to company representatives from all known German agricultural engineering companies, representatives from CNH, Austria, already belonged to this sectoral network.
AgriTech I 2007 / 2008 • In August 2007 in cooperation with Works Councils from Germany, Austria, Chechnya , Hungary, Poland and Spain the European the AgriTech Network was established • The partners in the project soon realised they shared the same topics of interests but also the same problems, regardless of geographic location • The main goals of this first European AgriTech project were • Exchange of experiences and information • Creation of a joint information platform via the mapping out of European Agricultural Engineering • Strengthening worker representation and works councils in companies • Networking and mutual support via shared resources (website, direct contact etc) • This first European project on Agricultural machinery was concluded via a final conference on 9 - 10 September 2008 with the adoption of a joint statement by all participants called the Frankfurt Statement. Participants also committed to the continuation of project activities
Agri-Tech II 2009 - 2010 • Phase II of the project on the European Employee Network in the Agricultural Machinery sector started in 2009 and was coordinated by the EMF, more specifically by its Mechanical Engineering committee. As in the first phase, the project was supported academically by the WMP consultancy (Hamburg) • The project brought together metalworking unions and employee representatives of major producers from 10 countries. Company representatives came from for example John Deere, Komatsu, Agco Fendt, Claas and Case New Holland. • Special attention was paid to EU Member States, including Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic which are actively involved • Once again the project was supported by the EU Commission under the budgetline, “Information, Consultation and Participation of Representatives of Undertakings” and focused particularly on the exchange of experiences and information at company and sector level • Project partners contributed to the development of both an online resource hub for the network and a map of agricultural machinery in Europe, which was published at the end of the project in 2010. • The main project and network activities also included two transnational thematic workshops and a major conference to round off the project.
continued • The first workshop was organised around the title “Crisis, restructuring and possible solutions – suggestions from worker representatives” (Madrid, December 2009) • “Good work – exchanging information and experiences on different forms of workers’ participation” – 2nd workshop which took place in Prague, February 2010. • The final conference was organised by the EMF and the network partners (Forum of the European Employee Network in Agricultural Machinery) • The conference took place in Brussels on 10 – 11 June 2010 where the major results of the networking activities were presented, the major future challenges facing the sector were also discussed • The Forum ended with the publication of a joint statement on a strong and sustainable agricultural machinery sector in Europe. The statement summarises major common experiences of worker representatives and trade unions in the sector and puts forwards a number of key demands and suggestions in terms of social dialogue and quality of work.
Wind Energy Project (SWREWES) – Background and objectives • The background elements to this project were a growing global energy need, the consequences of climate change and such issues as “Green Industry” and resource management as well as the general dynamically growing renewable energy sector and the EU commission’s environmental goals. • The EMF Conference on 22 – 23 March 2010 was a starting point for an internal trade union debate on environmental protection and the role of trade unions in the wind energy sector. Around 80 participants participated with different academic/professional backgrounds i.e. in organising, sciences etc. . Objectives of the project: I Identifythechallengesworkersface in thissectorandidentifyopportunitiesfortradeunionsandworkscouncilstoorganizethissector II. Raiseawarenessforlabour-relatedchallenges in thissectorthroughthe EMF conference III. Create strong European tradeunionnetworkstoparticipate in the „greenrevolution“ IV. Improve transnational information, cooperation and participation of employees; V. Impulses for the creation of further European Works Councils (EWC)
Time Tableof the SWREWES-Project • 1st-2nd of October 2009, kick-off-meeting of the EuroWind Steering Committee: organization of the conference, approval and discussion of the external study • End of November: evaluation of questionnaire for works councils • 22nd- 23rd of March 2010, main conference, Brussels, Belgium. • 9th-10th of June 2010, evaluation-meeting. • Publication of the external study in English, German and French 10
10 Conclusions: EMF and the Wind Energy Sector 1. Leaving the Project Phase This sector has matured - as has its structures. Working relations in the companies still have to be developed further. This means there is a need to integrate this sector in the work of the EMF and the trade unions. 2. Extending the view from wind energy towards renewable energy sourcesThe wind energy sector is closely interlinked with other renewable energies and these should be viewed together. A new EMF working group will therefore be set up on “renewable energies”. 3. Establishing a network for the exchange of information and experiences There is a need for an electronically based system of information and exchange with the affiliated organizations and the workers’ representatives in this field.
10 Conclusions: EMF and the Wind Energy Sector 4. Exchange of best practice methods for workers’ representatives and unions.This can be supported by electronic means and eventually a meeting to exchange views and practices. 5. Establishing the EMF and its affiliates as a competent and powerful player at European level. The contacts and areas of common work with employers’ organizations, multinational companies and the European Institutions have to be further developed and intensified. 6. Interlinking with the other European Federations and Confederations. As these new industries do not completely follow the path of traditional work structures, this demands new ways to handle them efficiently.
10 Conclusions: EMF and the Wind Energy Sector 7. Assistance for initiating and negotiation of EWCs and for the work of EWCs. These practices and expertise have to be further developed to respond to the needs of the employees in this industry. 8. Establishing of European contacts in multinationals companiesThe study shows that there is still need for assistance to interlink the workforce and their unions in this sector. 9. Interlinking with other subjects. Developments in this industry are closely connected to the developments in industrial and other policy fields, e.g. the question of energy efficiency. These developments have to be interlinked. 10. A new project in this industry at European level?It is important to develop work program for this sector and to initiate a follow up for the conference
Networking Experiences in the Construction Machinery and Construction Material Engineering Sector • Sectoral work and networking activities have been carried out in Germany by IG Metall and company reps for some years now. Following a sector report and survey of works councils in 2004 entitled “Construction Machinery Engineering and Construction Material Engineering undergoing change – safeguarding the industry’s future and employment in a context of international competition” IG Metall HQ published an additional sector report in two volumes including networking experiences covering the years from 2004 – 2010 as well as core issues: • Growth, crisis and change in Germany • European prospects and international competition • The reports were compiled with the active involvement of all major works councils from the sector and in cooperation with the union-orientated consultancy organisation “Arbeit und Leben”, Bielefeld.
EMF Copernicus Project 2010/2011 • Against the backdrop of various national activities/experiences the EMF launched the EU-financed Copernicus Project on 17th February 2011 on the Construction Machinery and Construction Material Engineering Sector during a first Steering Group meeting in Brussels. In addition, on 4th and 5th April the first EMF Workshop took place in Brussels in the framework of this project, the focus of which was on the exchange of information on activities in the different participating countries, in particular those in southern and western Europe. • From the beginning trade unions from Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Finland and Spain have been involved. The company representatives come from national, European and international companies (Volvo, Liebherr, Komatsu, Caterpillar, Terex, Manitowoc, Fayat/Bomag, Putzmeister) • “Copernicus “ is the name of the project and stands for Worker Representatives’ Competence and Participation Network for employment-focused Structural Change in the European Construction Machinery and Material Engineering Sector • The aims of the project is to begin activities on developing sectoral policy and European networking against the backdrop of the Economic and employment crisis in Europe and their consequences on the sector. Other general aims are: • European networking through information and exchanges • Mobilising available sectoral knowhow • Developing concepts and strategies for future joint action • Strengthening worker representation and works councils in companies