Newly launched Just Transition Coalition calls for a framework to prioritise 16 million mobility workers in the EU

Trade unions, industry associations representing the entire automotive ecosystem, and environmental NGOs gathered to form the Just Transition Coalition, calling for a common framework to protect workers and citizens from the employment and social impacts of the European Green Deal. 

The Coalition officially launched on 7 December, ahead of the European Parliament committees’ scrutiny of the European Commission’s Fit for 55 Package, during an online event hosted by industriALL. The virtual session was co-hosted by MEPs Mohammed Chahim and Agnes Jongerius (S&D, The Netherlands), Michal Wiezik (EPP, Slovakia), and Michael Bloss (Greens, Germany). 

Earlier in the year, CLEPA, industriALL Europe, and other associations joined forces with a broad coalition including industry, employers and environmental organisations, to demand a Just Transition framework to support the anticipation and management of change, including but not limited to skills and training, to be underpinned by strong social dialogue at all levels. 

Indeed, the Fit for 55 package published in July 2021 sets out the proposed regulatory framework to implement the climate target by 2030, including four transport-specific legislative initiatives. However, the package fails to address concrete measures or resources to anticipate and manage the employment transformation of transport services and vehicle manufacturing industries.  

For this reason, the coalition has launched a common set of demands for a Just Transition framework for the automotive and mobility sectors, an eco-system that employs 16 million workers in Europe:

1 – Mapping of employment impacts at company, regional and national levels to ensure effective skills intelligence and anticipation of change.

2 – Policy support and exchanges of best practices: the extension of the Just Transition Platform to the scope of the European Green Deal.

3 – Transition planning and social dialogue, including negotiated transition plans at company, regional and sectoral levels, and strengthening of social dialogue through binding social conditionality on access to EU funds.

4 – Adequate resources for active labour market policies, including retraining and upskilling, through a dedicated fund for the mobility ecosystem.

“We are facing an unprecedented transformation in the automotive industry, where 60% of the workforce is employed by automotive suppliers. The sector is deeply intertwined with regional economies, composed of global leaders as well as many innovative SMEs. Appropriate measures and resources must therefore be put in place to ensure the transition happens without leaving anyone behind. It is critical that we put automotive suppliers front and center when managing the social and economic impacts of the transition”, said CLEPA’s Secretary General Sigrid de Vries.  

“The green transformation is not only a technological challenge, it is first and foremost a social challenge for the millions of workers who are impacted – notably in the automotive and mobility industries”, said Judith Kirton-Darling, Deputy General Secretary of industriALL Europe. She goes on to say, “Europe’s regional and political cohesion is at stake if we fail to deliver a Just Transition along the related supply chains. But all too often, the social dimension is seen as an optional extra. The launch of these common demands from a coalition of unusual bedfellows shows that there is recognition in industry and environmental circles that the social dimension – the Just Transition – is vital for the success of the Green Deal’s objectives.’’ 



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