An estimated 135 million people in Europe live with a disability*. Only 50.8 percent of persons with disabilities are employed, compared to 75 percent of persons without disabilities. Equal access to the open labour market is clearly not guaranteed, neither is the quality of employment or career opportunities.

On today’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, industriAll Europe calls for an end to discrimination and commits to push forward a progressive agenda in collective bargaining and workplaces.

Judith Kirton-Darling, industriAll Europe Deputy General Secretary:

“Sometimes little changes in work organisation can do the trick. Or open minded recruitment policies. Trade unions have a role to play. We can review our collective bargaining demands and agreements, and work with employers to ensure adequate working conditions.”

IndustriAll Europe’s member unions pledge to increase their activities in this field – and to be welcoming and accessible towards representatives with disabilities.

IndustriAll European Trade Union commits to:

  • Work for equal status and pay, social protection and social benefits, educational leave, etc.
  • Engage with employers to ensure reasonable accommodation, e.g. adjustments to the workplace, assistive devices and technology, flexible arrangements
  • Engage with employers and educational institutions to make vocational and continuous training accessible and enhance career opportunities
  • Support employers, works councils and trade union representatives to fight stereotyping and discrimination
  • Support employers, works councils and trade union representatives to ensure safe workplaces, e.g. review emergency evacuation procedures and alarm systems
  • Use accessible communication and hold meetings in accessible spaces
  • Include persons with disabilities in negotiation teams
  • Review collective agreements through a disability lens
  • Provide relevant information and/or training to trade union officers and representatives

IndustriAll Europe position paper 'Stepping up trade union action with and for persons with disabilities': EN, DE, FR

European Disability Forum 'Guide to accessible trade unions and collective bargaining': EN

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication), Maike Niggemann (policy adviser)