In the metal sector, our French members concluded a sectoral agreement on equal opportunities for women and men and on reducing the gender pay gap. This agreement represents a significant victory for women workers. 

The agreement sets the general framework for the entire metal sector to be implemented further at company level. Its main aims are to:

  • eliminate pay gaps in metal companies
  • attract more women to the metal sector
  • promote women’s career development by: 
    • covering 100% of the cost of training as part of professional development contracts for women working in companies with less than 50 employees
    • introducing support measures for family leave (training managers; informing the employee on progress of the company during the leave; possibility to abandon the personal training account if training is followed during the leave; ensuring the resumption of activity; renumeration)
    • providing incentives to set up nurseries (crèches) in companies and help to finance childcare or support school costs

To implement the sectoral agreement at company level, the French social partners have published a guide. This guide aims to give companies the necessary tools to fulfill their legal obligations and to take effective action in advancing equal opportunities for women and men.

An example of how the agreement might be implemented at company level is shown by Constellium. At Constellium, the local union used the framework set at sectoral level to win better conditions for women returning from maternity or adoption leave. Thanks to the agreement, the women benefit from a 50% working week but receive 100% of their salaries to ease adaptation to change for both mother and baby. 

Luc Triangle, industriAll Europe’s General Secretary, emphasized the importance of this agreement on equal employment opportunities and the elimination of pay gaps: “ This is a landmark sectoral agreement which clearly shows that collective bargaining is an effective instrument for advancing professional equality between women and men. We hope that this good example will inspire similar action across Europe. The structural discrimination that women workers are facing needs to end and collective bargaining is our tool to fight against it.” 

The full text of the agreement can be found here.

About the campaign

The objective of industriAll Europe’s collective bargaining campaign is to demonstrate the positive impact of collective bargaining, underpinned by strong unions, in delivering a better life for workers. It consists of 7 targeted campaigns, each lasting one month. 

The campaign can be followed on facebook (@industriAllEU), twitter (@industriAll_EU) and instagram (industriall_europe).

Visit for more information.
See the campaign coverage here. Watch the campaign video.
Contact Patricia Velicu for more information or further comment.