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Industrial Relations

Bilateral industrial relations between workers’ representatives and employers organizations or companies are inherently linked to good governance of the construction labour market. As the construction industry has many typical characteristics, which distinguishes the industry from all other sectors, the social partners are best placed the define the challenges and needs of the construction labour market. For this it is absolutely vital that the social partners have the competence to take up their joint responsibilities. 

The European Treaty (Article 151 TFEU) explicitly recognizes that the promotion of dialogue between management and labour is a common objective of the EU and the Member States. The aim of social dialogue is to improve European governance through the involvement of the social partners in decision-making and implementation. In 2015, the European Commission, launched a ‘new start’ for European social dialogue. In a joint statement in June 2016, the Commission, Council of the European Union and social partners underlined its fundamental role as a significant component of EU employment and social policymaking.

The European sectoral social dialogue of the construction industry (ESSD Construction) is one of the oldest at EU-level.  Meetings with the employers counterpart Federation (FIEC) have been taking place since the mid-1980s. From the beginning the EFBWW considered the ESSD Construction is a very important leverage to develop a social sustainable European labour market for the construction industry. In 1990, the formal dialogues took place.

Currently, the ESSD Construction industry is clustered in three thematic discussions:  (1) health and safety, (2) vocational and educational training / youth and (3) employment. Over the years the ESSD Construction has proven its effectiveness and added-value to shape the European construction labour market.

The meetings of the European sectoral social dialogue committee are organised according specific rules of procedure.

The representativiness of the European social partners of the construction industry is regulary verified. Here you can download the latest study. 

The multinanual workprogram of the European sectoral social dialogue for the construction industry (2020-2023) can be downloaded here 

Formal website of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee of the construction industry

2019 Cooperation agreement EFBWW-FIEC-AEIP

2020 (21 April) EFBWW - FIEC recommendations to counteract the negative impact and consequences of the current COVID-19 crisis for the construction industry

2020 Appeal by the construction industry for a rapid and sustainable recovery

2018 Joint Statement of the European Social Partners from the building sector on the Communication « Safer and Healthier Work for All – Modernisation of the EU Occupational Safety and Health Legislation and Policy » [COM(2017)12]

2017 Working safer with construction machines [ENG] [DE] [FR] [IT] [BG] [ES] [PT] [PL] 

2007 FIEC-EFBWW Joint Position on Posting of Workers

2009 EFBWW-FIEC Declaration on "The global economic crisis and its consequences for the European construction industry

2011 FIEC-EFBWW Position Paper - proposal for a Directive on “Conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer” (“ICT”)

2011 EFBWW-FIEC Position Paper - Proposal for a Directive on “Conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment”

2013 FIEC-EFBWW joint position - Abnormally Low Tenders

2015 JOINT POSITION Towards a level playing field in the European construction sector Joint proposals of the EU sectoral social partners EFBWW and FIEC

2016 JOINT LETTER regarding the proposed services e-card 

2017 Employers and trade unions criticise fundamentally flawed European Commission proposals for a European services card

2020 Joint toolkit of EFBWW and FIEC to tackle undeclared work in construction

2020 Joint statement and 10 concrete recommendations of EFBWW and FIEC to tackle undeclared work in construction

2021 Joint statement Third Country Nationals

2020 Joint reaction of EFBWW and FIEC to the proposed updated skills agenda