European Glass sector campaign

Glass Campaign Update

Following actions have been reported so far (10 Dec)

  • Germany:
    IGBCE wrote to the works councils of 139 glass companies informing them of the demands and objectives of the industriAll Europe Glass Campaign in relation to industrial policy and employment in the sector. They were asked to inform the employees and to join our action on 13 December in any way they see fit.

  • France:
    FCE-CFDT called upon its members to demonstrate in front of the glass employers association on 13 December. A meeting took place with the Ministry of Industrial Recovery and initial contacts have been established to organise a meeting with French MEPs. Video [FR].

    CGT Glass-Ceramics called upon its members to take action on 13 December. It also supports the ETUC investment plan to boost purchasing power, economic and social recovery, employment, research and innovation.

  • Belgium:
    Affiliated organisations in the glass sector jointly organised a meeting with Belgian MEPs on 5 December. IndustriAll Europe was present. The meeting was productive and the idea of European round table received wide support. A joint action will take place on 13 December at the AGC Roux plant (Charleroi). Video [FR] (starts 15:35 - ends 17:30).

Latest developments with European Employers and the European Commission

With a little help from the Belgian MEPs it seems, after the meeting of 5 December, DG Industry finally accepted the joint request of industriAll Europe and Glass for Europe (the flat glass association) for a meeting. It will take place on 17 December. Against the framework of the upcoming European elections, further pressure on MEPs in other countries will be necessary to organise a European Round Table for the glass sector. Positive steps are also taking place with the help of Glass for Europe to establish contacts with Glass Alliance Europe (the industry association umbrella).

Feedback on 13 December actions

We would be grateful to receive further information on planned actions in other countries. Pictures, reports, and/or videos after this event will also be welcome so as to post them on our campaign web pages.

Trade union coordination meeting – 23 October 2013 – Short report

In the framework of its Glass Campaign launched in September, industriAll Europe held a trade union coordination meeting on 23 October to set further joint actions in motion against the new wave of restructuring and closures in the sector. Although not all sub-sectors are affected equally, flat and solar glass are taking the brunt of job losses with entire regions going bankrupt both economically and socially. The meeting focused on the challenges to the industry and safeguarding glass workers and their jobs, as well as on the European operations of global majors Saint-Gobain and Asahi Glass Company.

Deputy General Secretary Sylvain Lefebvre stressed that “We need an industrial policy which supports employment in the glass industry and a quality European sectoral social dialogue in order to manage sustainable transition while preserving, and where possible developing, regional and local know-how”. Demand and competitiveness must be enhanced to re-boost the automotive sector, a major partner of the glass industry, and allow job growth to resume in both sectors. Austerity simply does not work, and a real industrial policy, promoting sectors “old” and new, must be put in place by the Commission to rescue the economy, the industrial fabric of our continent, and the European Social Model as a whole.

The event was attended by 35 representatives from the European glass manufacturing countries. Also attending was Mr. Bertand Cazes, Secretary-General of Glass for Europe, the European flat glass industry association member of Glass Alliance Europe (GAE). A round table discussion took place with SYNDEX, industriAll Europe and GFE, where he shared the view that possible solutions for the future of this industry in Europe include: R&D for high-end transformation of glass products (e.g. with energy efficiency, climatic and acoustic properties), decreasing the cost of energy (which accounts for roughly 30% of production costs), improving recycling and recycling methods, and lessening the financial burden of ETS, which is a common denominator for all energy-intensive sectors within industriAll Europe’s remit.

Avenues for future joint work (social dialogue) were explored but we are still in an inception phase. IndustriAll Europe will however step up its Glass Campaign, calling for a round table at European level. It will also continue to call for a European industrial policy to guarantee employment in the European glass sector, and for our 12 demands for a sustainable industrial policy to be met.

  • Link to glass resolution [DE], [EN], [FR]
  • Link to Glass Campaign leaflet [DE], [EN], [FR]
  • Link to 12 Industrial Policy demands [DE], [EN], [FR]
  • Power Point Syndex [FR]
  • Power Point Glass questionnaire [EN], [FR]

Trade Union Action - 13 December 2013

The idea of a decentralised Europe-wide action in the glass sector is being proposed for 13 December 2013. National unions will decide whether to carry these actions jointly at national or regional level. We would be grateful to receive information on what you intend to do so as to communicate this to other unions in Europe.”

    So far only the Belgian colleagues have informed us of the details of the joint trade union action they intend to organise on 13 December and of their meeting with Belgian MEPs on 5 December. We would of course also welcome receiving information concerning actions planned in other countries.

  • Lasst uns der Glasindustrie durch dauerhafte Arbeitsplätze eine Zukunft geben [DE]
  • Guaranteeing a sustainable future for the European glass industry and the jobs it represents [EN]
  • Donnons un avenir à l’industrie verrière pour des emplois durables [FR]
European Glass sector

An industrial policy to guarantee employment in the European glass sector

Further to our recent consultation on the draft resolution “An industrial policy to guarantee employment in the European glass sector”, we would like to inform you that the resolution, after amendments were received from some affiliated organisations, was discussed and approved by our Chemicals and Basic Materials Committee at its meeting on 3 September 2013.

The Committee also gave us the green light to kick-start a European campaign for the glass industry, which will focus on the following objectives:

  • information campaign in the national and European media
  • meetings with groups of MEPs and a formal request for a meeting with Commissioner Antonio Tajani, in charge of industry and entrepreneurship
  • affiliates to contact the relevant national ministries and industry/employers’ associations concerning the future of the glass industry
  • initiate a dialogue with European employers and if possible set up a sectoral social dialogue committee.

We would ask our affiliates in the glass industry to stand ready to act in their own country. The campaign will be coordinated with the help of the small steering group set up in July, which will soon prepare a flyer that we will send you for distribution to your members/union activists. In the framework of this campaign, we will organise on 23 October 2013 in Brussels, a seminar on restructuring in the Saint-Gobain and AGC multinational companies, which will also discuss the future of the glass industry in Europe.

  • Resolution [DE], [EN], [FR]
  • Questionnaire (members only)