Social dialogue refers to structured discussion between the organisations which represent workers and employers, known as social partners. The EU supports social dialogue at European level, and the ETF is the recognised social partner for the railway sector representing railway workers.
Together with the railway employers, who are represented by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM), we take part in the activities of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Railways. This is how we ensure that workers’ interests in all areas in the rail sector are considered – be it in passenger transport, freight transport, or workers responsible for operation of rail infrastructure.
Our common goal is to make sure that Europe implements a Single European Railway Area where workers enjoy decent working conditions and where their social rights are respected. Social dialogue provides us with an opportunity to negotiate with the employers and conclude agreements valid on European level. At the same time, through social dialogue and the consultation obligations of the European Commission, we are able to react to new developments in the railway sector and exchange views on current challenges with all parties concerned.
Social dialogue is an instrument that helps us to:
There are several hot topics we have been tackling through social dialogue. The main areas of our work are those designated in the current work programme for 2018-2019, mainly:
Within the framework of social dialogue, we pursue our work on the topics mentioned above in a variety of ways; through projects we run together with our social partners; by developing joint recommendations and agreements; or by participating in joint working groups.
Press Release July 1, 2021
Social partners ETF and CER reached a provisional agreement in the final round of negotiations at EU level for a binding agreement aimed at promoting employment of women in the sector.
Press Release May 18, 2021
Today, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), representing employees, and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), representing railway sector employers, resumed negotiations at EU-level for a binding agreement aimed at promoting women’s employment in the sector.
News December 18, 2020
European social partners in rail, ETF and CER, issued a joint declaration, expressing gratitude to railway workers who worked throughout the pandemic and recognising the key role the sector can play in a green and social future.