Germany's largest trade union, IG Metall Coast, has voiced its support for the protection of working conditions within the European Union's Wind Power Package. In collaboration with SPD politician Bengt Bergt, the union has called for a joint evaluation of the EU Commission's Pact for Wind Energy and the industrial policy concept put forth by Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck.
The trade union emphasizes the need for greater consideration of regional value creation and well-defined, collectively agreed working conditions in industrial policy programs to ensure the continued growth of the wind industry.
Daniel Friedrich, the District Manager of IG Metall Coast, stated, “The EU is finally addressing a key concern of IG Metall: future renewable projects, such as wind farms, should be assessed based on their CO2 footprint criterion. This means that projects with a better CO2 balance should have a higher likelihood of realization, thereby rewarding sustainability.”
However, IG Metall Coast is advocating for even more. They call for the recognition and rewarding of good working conditions, collectively agreed wages, and apprenticeships, which have been lacking in the concepts presented by the EU Commission and Minister of Economics Habeck.
Bengt Bergt added, “The pact from Brussels encompasses important projects that IG Metall, Social Democrats, and the industry have advocated for over a long period. But this is just the beginning. The EU should take a more comprehensive approach by introducing not only a CO2 footprint criterion but also other social sustainability criteria, such as apprenticeship quotas for all renewable energy projects, ideally in conjunction with fair employment conditions, like collective bargaining.”
Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck has proposed the inclusion of “qualitative criteria,” including a CO2 footprint, in public tenders. Daniel Friedrich commented, “The minister must now transform these broad intentions into a robust strategy. Climate protection and social sustainability criteria should be considered in tandem. Entities that offer favorable working conditions and foster skilled workers should have an advantage in tenders—a perspective that has been notably absent from the Minister of Economic Affairs' industrial strategy.”