The European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) is the European Industry Federation for the construction industry, the building materials industry, the wood and furniture industry and the forestry industry. The EFBWW has 76 affiliated unions in 34 countries and represents a total of 2,000,000 members. The EFBWW is a member organisation of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and has its headquarters in Brussels, the capital of Europe.

The Federation’s main task is to represent its affiliates in Europe and help them defend the rights and interests of the workers in the industries it covers. Since the virtual completion of the European Market, and especially since the conclusion of the Amsterdam Treaty, strong representation in Brussels has become all the more important. The European Union has now become a legislative entity in its own right, but in our view it still has some catching up to do in terms of developing its social dimension. The EFBWW also provides a framework for union cooperation and the coordination of action taken in the industries we represent.

The EFBWW consists of two Standing Committees, one for the building sector and one for the wood, furniture and forestry sectors. After the 1995 General Assembly a Health and Safety Working Party was set up, underlining the importance of health and safety issues. The Standing Committees follow developments in their sectors and submit EFBWW policy proposals to the Executive Committee. The EFBWW President and Vice-Presidents represent the Federation and oversee the activities of the General Secretary and his staff.

EFBWW activities are based on decisions taken and an action programme adopted at the General Assembly, which is held every four years. The action programme outlines the Federation’s main activities and tasks. In a nutshell, we deal with the Social Dialogue, labour market policy, health and safety issues, worker representation in multinational companies, terms of employment and social policy. Together with the ETUC and the other European Industry Federations we are striving to achieve a more social Europe.