European Sectoral Social Dialogue in the gas sector reactivated: The role of gas in a de-carbonised European economy

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Brussels, 28 October 2019. Today the European trade union federations, industriAll European Trade Union and EPSU, and the industry association Eurogas, restarted their European Social Dialogue in the gas sector. This sectoral social dialogue has the support of the European Commission. In their plenary meeting the Social Partners addressed the role of gas in a decarbonised European economy and the impact of the energy transition on workers in the European Gas Industry.

Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of EPSU, stated: “The gas sector is currently at a major turning point. It must reinvent itself to be part of the decarbonisation strategy currently shaped by the European Institutions. These evolutions must be anticipated in order to avoid any negative consequences and to offer clear perspectives to the workers. The just transition that workers and local communities deserve can only be effective through the strong involvement of the social partners at all levels. Today, the European social partners in the gas sector take up their responsibility!”

Luc Triangle, General Secretary of industriAll Europe added that “Returning to a genuine social dialogue with the European employers in the gas sector comes at a crucial point in the discussion about the EU’s long-term decarbonisation strategy. At present, there are many uncertainties regarding the future role of gas and what place renewable gas and hydrogen will take in the economy. Social partners must jointly anticipate change and offer clear perspectives to workers!”

Eurogas Secretary General, James Watson, concluded: “The gas sector is going through a transition. Natural gas can deliver on the EU’s decarbonisation efforts towards 2030, while increased volumes of renewable and decarbonised gases will be indispensable in meeting the 2050 EU climate targets. I am confident that our work with the trade unions and the European Commission will provide industrial and employment opportunities for the workers of the EU and set the pace for European leadership in clean energy technologies.”

Note to editors: European social dialogue refers to discussions, consultations, negotiations and joint actions involving organisations representing the two sides of industry (employers and workers).

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