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Automotive industry

Urgent need to promote decent and sustainable work in the automotive industry

With the COVID-19 crisis placing massive economic strains on the automotive industry, governments, workers’ and employers’ representatives agree a roadmap to ensure a future that works for all in the sector.

News | 24 February 2021

GENEVA (ILO News) - Governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations from around the world agreed at the virtual ILO meeting that there is an urgent need to invest in education, training and lifelong learning for all in the automotive industry.

“The industry is going through an unprecedented change amid great challenges,” said the Chairperson of the meeting, Ms Erika Gabriela Martínez Liévano. “Our industry can contribute to green growth and decent work opportunities for more women and men, through a just transition in which we create an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises to grow and we promote and protect workers’ rights.”

The COVID-19 crisis has placed massive economic strains on the industry and its workers. It has compounded existing challenges such as supply chain disruption, factory closures and a collapse in demand.

“The automotive industry has been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, putting at risk the survival of enterprises. It will take years for the industry to return to pre-crisis levels of production and sales,” said the Employer vice-chairperson, Ms Sawsen Ayari-Pouliquen. “There is an urgent need to build back an enabling business environment, stimulate aggregate demand and prepare to meet future skills needs of the industry going forward”.

The ILO’s centenary Declaration for the Future of Work (2019) and its human-centred approach provides a roadmap for shaping a future that works for all in the automotive industry and ensure that no one is left behind.

“Freedom of association and collective bargaining are more important than ever,” said the Worker Vice-chairperson, Mr Ben Mathew Norman. “These rights enable the effective social dialogue that is needed to face an increasingly uncertain future in the automotive industry and to assure that transformations in the industry are socially and environmentally just.”

The meeting adopted conclusions that give governments, workers and employers a strong mandate to invest in people’s capabilities and a just transition to decent and sustainable work.

“The adoption of these ambitious conclusions is timely and propitious,” said the Government Vice-chairperson, Mrs Thérèse Boutsen. “They clearly reflect that governments, employers and workers refuse to be passive victims of circumstances or megatrends and that they are ready to jointly shape a brighter future of work for more women and men in the automotive industry.”