CER and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) reached a provisional agreement in the final round of negotiations to promote employment of women in the rail sector.
The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) reached a provisional agreement in the final round of negotiations at EU level for a binding agreement aimed at promoting employment of women in the rail sector.
“As social partners, CER and ETF have made history these days for the railway sector, for our colleagues, for more women in the railway! After almost 3 years and now 3 days of intensive negotiations and numerous virtual meetings, we have created something special with the WIR agreement,” the President of the EU Sectoral Social Dialogue for Railways, Matthias Rohrmann, said
The agreement aims to attract more women to the rail sector, give women more protection and guarantee equal treatment in the workplace thanks to measures agreed under the headlines of general gender equality policy, which cover areas such as, targets, increase the involvement of women in the rail sector, reconciliating work and private life, promotion and career development, equal pay, health and safety and work environment and prevention of sexual harassment and sexism.
The last binding Article 155 TFEU agreement in the context of the European Social Dialogue in the railway sector was 15 years ago, on working conditions of mobile railway workers engaged in cross border interoperable services. This major achievement is particularly significant as it has been accomplished during the European Year of Rail.
While the provisional agreement is a key milestone in the negotiations, it is not the end of the journey. Both parties now need to finetune the wording of the agreement which then needs to be approved by the respective governing bodies. CER’s General Assembly is expected to vote on the provisional agreement on 20 September and ETF Railway Section in October. A celebratory signing ceremony will then take place later this year.
“It is my goal as CER Chair and ÖBB CEO to achieve more diversity and a more gender-balanced railway sector. An important step has now been taken. The social partners have agreed to increase the proportion of women in the European railway sector. I find it particularly positive that this excellent result could be achieved precisely in the European Year of Rail,” CER Chair Andreas Matthä said.
Due to its commitment to diversity ÖBB managed to increase the proportion of women completing apprenticeship training to over 20 percent.