Brussels 28-04-23: Eurogas, EPSU, and industriAll Europe have notified the European Commission of their intention to enter into negotiations towards a European Framework Agreement. The negotiations will be the first of their kind to focus on a Just Transition.
Following two years of joint efforts on a study mapping skills needs, the social partners have requested to enter negotiations to align on action. The need to ensure a Just Transition for the gas workers and skill up the workforce has never been more urgent. A European Framework agreement specific to the gas sector will complement REPowerEU and the Net Zero Industry Act, for rapid deployment of solutions to reduce emissions and achieve a Just Transition.
Judith Kirton-Darling, Deputy General Secretary of industriAll Europe said: “We are pleased that, after the successful joint conceptual work, we will now, as social partners, negotiate concrete measures and actions to ensure a Just Transition in the gas sector. This will make a difference to the more than 220,000 workers the gas sector currently employs as the industry transforms. Transition measures will only be inclusive and effective if the voice of workers steers them. Hopefully the negotiations will lead to an agreement that ensures that there is ‘nothing about us, without us’ in practice.”
Matthew Lay, President of the EPSU Utilities committee added: “The gas sector faces numerous challenges to deliver a decarbonised future. The opportunity this agreement can provide means we can set standards for quality jobs and enable a coordinated approach that will help get the right skills in place where they are needed. Importantly, we want to ensure a real just transition across the energy sector in Europe that puts workers at the forefront of our efforts to secure our climate ambitions”.
James Watson, Eurogas Secretary General added: “We have been working intensely on the gas sector’s skills needs. The Syndex study gave clear indications of what needs to be done. Entering into negotiations now will allow us to start addressing those needs while tackling challenges ranging from the skills gap to gender inclusion in a holistic way”.