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Workers’ representatives

European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) (1971) (now: IndustriALL – European Trade Union)

Employers’ representatives

European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries (EUROFER) (1976)

Representativity study: Traxler, F. (2009), Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Steel industry, EIRO, Dublin, September 2009 http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/eiro/studies/tn0811027s/tn0811027s.htm

Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC)

Informal working group:



6 April 2006

Rules of procedure:

21 June 2006

Work programme:

2006 - 2008

General overview

Steel is an industry that largely follows the cyclical economic trend in downstream sectors such as the automotive industry, shipbuilding, railways, etc. It has undergone large-scale restructuring over the past three or four decades, accompanied by widespread job losses.

Participants and challenges

The social partners in the steel sector played an advisory role for many years under the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). But it took them quite some time and a good deal of effort to establish a fully-fledged, autonomous social dialogue at European level. Today that dialogue brings together the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) for the workers, and the European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries (EUROFER) for the employers.


Proper social dialogue in the steel sector is making a very cautious, not to say hesitant, start. But it is happening in the face of difficulties such as international competition, new climate constraints and a collapse in market demand (in 2008-2009).

Joint texts

The “steel” sectoral social dialogue has resulted, since 2006, in the adoption of 3 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