Building trade union power and European identity

IndustriAll Europe on the offensive - strengthening trade union power & European identity

Strengthening trade union power and European identity

IndustriAll Europe needs to use its strength even more effectively as a countervailing force vis-à-vis employers but also vis-à-vis the European institutions to fight for a fair and democratic Europe based on solidarity which brings prosperity and good living and working conditions for all. However, a strong European industrial workers’ union is dependent on strong and democratic national trade unions. IndustriAll Europe needs to build trade union power from the grassroots. The organisation, recruitment and retention of members must be a top priority for the national affiliates. As trade union rights have come under unprecedented attack from employers and governments as a result of the crisis and austerity policies, trade unions need to act to regain collective power.

IndustriAll Europe will support affiliates in their strategy to build up strong organisations, reclaiming lost ground and organising new groups of workers as well as developing capacity building, especially in countries and regions of Europe where trade unions are under-represented. IndustriAll Europe activities will include promoting exchanges of best practices and devising strategies to:

  • strengthen the organising of target groups such as women, young people, white-collars and migrant workers. Targeted policies should also be drawn up for temporary workers and workers engaged in all forms of precarious employment. Indeed, ensuring that workers unite to build collective power within companies and in society is crucial if better living and working conditions are to be secured. The young generation must be seen as a central priority for increasing the organisational power of trade unions and for involvement in trade union structures. Due to demographic developments, one of the core trade union tasks is to get more young people under 35 involved. This applies not only to industriAll Europe, but especially to its member organisations.
  • develop new forms of building collective power as increased individualisation of work organisation, labour relations and digitalisation - which often implies geographical dispersion and limited face-to-face contacts - are challenging traditional ways of collectively organising workers. It is also clear that digitalisation, with digital precarious work on the increase, will not reduce the urge for workers to form collectives to defend their individual interests. The best and only way to get ahead as a worker is still to be part of a collective. Online activism, campaigning and petitioning also give rise to new recruitment opportunities for trade unions.
  • support and coordinate organising and capacity building in countries and regions where trade union density is low.
  • support and coordinate solidarity actions and capacity building in the event of violation of trade unions rights or trade union busting in companies. Multinational companies are very powerful economic players in the global economy and are very sensitive about their public image. Coordinated trade union actions, EWCs, and board membership must be used to reinforce trade union power and support capacity building where workers are not organised or trade union rights are under threat. When necessary, efforts should be made to inform the public or to exert peer pressure on the value chain.
  • immediately following the Congress, set up a task force to develop, co-ordinate and implement this crucial area of work.
  • launch a debate on the development of a European trade union identity based on the realities of work and life which will contribute to the creation of European social awareness among workers and their representatives. This also needs to be translated into a trade union education strategy.

Seek strategic alliances

Identify potential synergies and strategic alliances with other social and political movements and forces in the fight for better living and working conditions and in strengthening the role that trade unions can play in society. In this respect, clear responsibilities have to be defined.


Luc Triangle

General Secretary

General Coordination


  • Political Management/ General Strategy / Overall political responsibility
  • Decision making bodies
  • Industrial Policy
  • Sector networks: MET, Transport, Energy
  • SD MET
  • Regional coordination

Contact info


Alice Nguyen

Communications & Policy Advisor

Management of

  • Building TU power
  • Press & Communication
  • Solidarity requests / Actions
  • Website
  • Working groups: Youth, Equal opportunities

Contact info


Annette Paternostre

Admin Officer

Administration of

  • Building TU power
  • Sector networks: Shipbuilding, Aerospace, TCL,
  • SD's: Shipbuilding, Textile & Clothing, Tanning & Leather, Footwear
  • Management of EU Commission projects (incl reimbursements)
  • Management of meeting facilities

Contact info


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