Brussels, 27 February 2017 – European social partners including industriAll European trade union and the European Chemical Employers’ Group, together with Cefic, the European chemical industry council, have signed a declaration endorsing the European Commission’s review proposal for EU-wide binding exposure limits for a number of substances in the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD), and calling on the Parliament to respect the proposal as it moves through the legislative process.
Protection of workers by improving health and safety in the workplace is a key priority for industry and social partners alike. Effective, ambitious legislation plays a pivotal role in enhancing this. Nevertheless, laws must be practical to implement on the ground. During the review process for the CMD, the Commission welcomed the involvement of industry and social partners. As a result, the outcome represents not only a strong commitment to the health and safety of workers across the supply chain but also something that employers will be able to put into practice in real world settings.
As the Parliament reviews the Commission proposal, the signatories therefore call on MEPs to recognise the expertise of the social partners when looking to further improve the Commission’s proposal. While ambitious workers’ health and safety laws are a must, making this review a catch-all with unattainable goals will neither help safeguard workers’ health nor increase their safety.
Says Marco Mensink, Cefic Director General: “The Commission made a strong proposal which we believe will be possible to implement in a way that enhances the health and safety of chemical workers in Europe. We look to the Parliament to respect the efforts that went into the development of the Commission’s review and invite them to ensure a proper stakeholder involvement before putting forward new legislative requirements.”
Emma Argutyan, ECEG Director General adds: “As Social Partners on the EU level we strive for protection of workers on all levels. As stipulated in Article 154 TFEU, we believe that timely consultation of Social Partners leads to an effective and fit-for-purpose legislation increasing workers’ protection on the ground."
Signatories of the declaration:
The European Chemical Employers Group (ECEG) represents the chemical, pharmaceutical, rubber and plastics industries in Europe. As a Brussels-based social affairs organisation it is a recognised social partner and a consultation body of the European Institutions and other stakeholders. With approximately 3.3 million direct employees in more than 94.000 enterprises, the sector is one of the biggest and most dynamic industries in the EU.
IndustriAll European Trade Union is the voice of industrial workers all over Europe. It represents 6.9 million workers across supply chains in manufacturing, mining and energy sectors on the European level.
CEFIC, the European Chemical Industry Council represents 29,000 large, medium and small chemical companies in Europe, which provide 1.2 million jobs and account for 17% of world chemicals production.