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Chemical industries



European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers' Federation (EMCEF) (1996) (now IndustriAll - European Trade Union)



European Chemical Employers Group (ECEG) (2002)

Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC)

Informal working group:




Internal Rules:

14 December 2004

Work Programme:

2005 – 2006 – 2007 - 2008

General overview

The European chemical industry is the second largest industrial sector in the EU (after the automotive sector) and the world’s number-one market. It employs two million workers directly and generates a huge number of subcontractors and indirect jobs.

Participants and challenges

Unlike the metalworking industry, the chemical sector does not really have a “national” tradition of sectoral social dialogue. The diversity of companies in the sector - petrochemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals, fertilisers, paints, etc. - tends in fact to mean that social dialogue focuses on the company level rather than that of the sector as a whole.


Under the SSDC rules of procedure adopted in 2004, social dialogue in this sector remains subject to considerable restrictions: it must not interfere in national industrial relations, it must not generate an additional level in the negotiation of collective agreements, and nor must it serve as an appeal body for the national social partners.

Joint texts

The “chemical industry” sectoral social dialogue has resulted, since 2002, in the adoption of 13 joint texts.

ETUI and Observatoire Social Européen (2010) European Sectoral Social Dialogue Factsheets. Project coordinated by Christophe Degryse, online publication available at www.worker-participation.eu/EU-Social-Dialogue/Sectoral-ESD