In 1999 the metalworkers' unions from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia signed the so-called Vienna Memorandum. Against the backdrop of European integration and growing globalization of the markets for capital, goods and services, the undersigned unions saw the need for better coordination of collective bargaining, in particular to avoid social dumping and a deterioration in the working and living conditions.
Since then, the presidents of the unions of the Vienna Memorandum Group have met regularly to exchange ideas about important labor policy and sector specific developments in each country, and on the other hand to seek solutions to common challenges in the metal sector.
The national reports showed this year that in several countries debates about raising the minimum wage have to be conducted. Given an observed decline in several countries of collective agreements, organizing and membership recruitment become more and more a key issue for trade unions.
The focus of this year's meeting was on the future of the automotive industry: it is important to find here a reasonable balance between social and ecological needs, particularly in the implementation of CO2 emission regulations. Moreover, the participants exchanged their views on the issues of labor migration as well as the impact of new trade agreements such as TTIP, TPA or CETA.