CO-industri is a member of the European Metalworkers Federation, EMF, and therefore also a party to the EMF Solidarity Pact. This Pact obliges EMF affiliates to provide support to members of EMF unions from other countries. In practical terms we help our colleagues both through their home unions and directly.
If you are in this situation, personally, you can contact CO-industri, and we will help you find the relevant Danish trade union branch to deal with your problem.
The Solidarity Pact
1. Our objectives
Under the conditions of Economic and Monetary Union and facing the challenges of an integrated European labour market with still existing national social security systems, there is a strong wish on the part of the EMF and its affiliated organisations to increase the protection of and support for EMF union members across the borders of our countries. For that reason, the EMF affiliates have reached the following agreement.
2. Membership and services
When working abroad, a member of an EMF affiliated organisation has the right either to the services set out in the guidelines for the practical use of the EMF Solidarity Pact or the right to become a member of another EMF union in the host country. In the case of more than one year's employment abroad, the employee will be required to become a member of an EMF union in the host country in order to benefit from services. The time of membership in his/her home union should be recognised in relation to the provision of services. For cross-border workers, the trade unions involved can make their own agreements, which remain valid.
The fundamental principles of guest membership and other instruments for implementation of the EMF Solidarity Pact shall be the legislation in force and the rules of the individual trade union organisation.
The EMF unions will support members of any EMF affiliated organisations in an appropriate way, by information, advice and legal consultation and assistance. They will try to give the best possible service concerning employment issues or similar labour market issues.
4. Companies setting up abroad
When a company sets up in another country, the EMF unions undertake to ensure that national regulations are complied with and developed with regard to legislation and collective agreements whilst respecting the standards laid down by the ILO conventions.
Members of the EMF unions are entitled to assistance from other EMF unions in the event of disputes concerning terms of employment or similar labour market issues although reimbursement of any costs involved in such assistance has to be agreed in advance by the unions concerned on a case-by-case basis.
Where strikes occur, the EMF specifies that the General Secretariat should be informed as quickly and comprehensively as possible. The General Secretariat shall do everything in its power to support the member organisations concerned and prevent strike-breaking measures in other countries - such as transfers of production/services, relocation of workers or other measures. The member organisations undertake to inform the workers in their country of strikes in other countries and to organise measures to prevent strike-breaking using all available means.
The EMF strongly recommends the affiliated organisations to find practicable solutions for the payment of strike benefits across borders on a bilateral or multilateral basis.
Evaluation of this agreement for the purposes of improving this contract shall take place on 1/7/2002.
Adopted by the EMF Executive Committee, 11th & 12th March 1999
Guidelines for use
Guideline for the practical use of the EMF Solidarity Pact
1. Any member of a trade union organisation affiliated to the EMF may benefit from the services referred to in points 6a) to d) when employed abroad in a country where the EMF has an affiliate.
2. This is conditional upon the member showing proof that he/she is a fully paid up member of an EMF affiliated organisation by means of a membership card, proof of payment or any other form of proof of membership.
3. The services to the member will be provided by the home trade union or by the relevant host affiliated organisation represented in the company in which he/she is employed. Membership fees will be paid to the home trade union.
4. When national legislation stipulates that the services provided by the host trade union are dependent upon membership of that organisation, the member should be allowed to benefit from guest membership of the host trade union on payment of a recognition of membership fee.
5. The principle of the transfer of membership after one year is subject to the following conditions:
* Workers employed abroad in a company of their home country remain members of their home trade union
* Workers employed abroad in a in a foreign company change their trade union membership. The same applies to workers employed under fixed-term contracts.
6. The following services will be provided by the host union to the members of other EMF affiliated organisations providing these do not entail any extra cost nor considerable extra work either in organisational, material or expenditure terms.
a) Inclusion in collective and other agreements
b) Information (trade union press, documentation, info service)
c) Consultation with regard to labour, social and employment matters
d) Legal consultation, legal protection and legal representation in all matters relating to labour law
e) The host union may provide other services in addition to those set out under points a) to d).
7. The host union is not obliged to provide services in individual cases incurring costs of 1000 euros or more.
However, agreement may be reached to cover the provision of high-cost services by the host union and reimbursement of costs by the home union on a case by case basis or again by a basic agreement between the trade unions concerned by specific cross-border agreements.
8. The EMF sets up the database in which the agreements are kept. Thus, there is an overview of the extent to which unions provide services to members of other organisations affiliated to the EMF. Existing agreements (e.g. FNV/CMB, FNV/DGB) should be added to the database in order to keep a complete picture of cross-border arrangements.
9. The starting date for the project will be July 1st 1999; a thorough evaluation of the process and practice should be made three years later. In the meantime, practical improvements can obviously be made.
10. The participating unions appoint national project co-ordinators who are responsible for the co-ordination and implementation of the agreement in their own union, and who serve as information points for officials (co-ordinators) of other unions and for the EMF. Union co-ordinators will have meetings at EMF level if necessary.
11. Unions shall keep good record of the ‚foreign‘ use of their services. The number of services provided and the costs of these services need to be accounted in a uniform and transparent way. (For this, a method will be suggested by the Working Group or by the forum of national co-ordinators).
12. At EMF level (working group or national co-ordinators' forum) a piece of standard information (e.g. a flyer) should be devised which unions can use for informing their members.
13. Union officials and shop stewards have to be well informed about the agreement and about its practical consequences for they are the ones providing the services. If in doubt they should always contact the national co-ordinator.
Cases will occur - especially at the start of the ‚project‘ - in which it is not exactly clear which union should serve the members. In these cases, we ask the participating unions to act in a spirit of cooperation and to serve the member. Such cases will of course need to be evaluated in meetings of the union co-ordinators.