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Sectoral social dialogue - Furniture

Social partners


Workers' organisations Employers' organisations
European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) Federation of European Furniture Manufacturers (UEA)
  European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC)


Social dialogue in this sector covers activities defined by NACE (Rev. 2) code 31, namely:

  • manufacture of office, shop, kitchen and other furniture.

In the EU, almost 1.2 million people are employed in the furniture sector (Eurostat, LFS data 2014) in some 120,000 enterprises (Eurostat, Business Statistics 2013).

The industry's strategy consists of transferring production of labour-intensive parts to the newest EU countries and candidate countries whilst maintaining the design, know-how, distribution and commercial aspects of business in the hands of EU-15 companies. This has enabled the sector to develop strong quality competitiveness.

The industry is a major player in the global market. However, this position has been declining recently under pressure from low labour-cost competitors, resulting in a fall in employment.

Focus areas

The Committee is currently focusing on:

  • industry policy,
  • environment,
  • vocational education and training, including skills
  • demographic change,
  • occupational safety and health, including nano-technologies, carcinogenics, musculoskeletal disorders and new strategy for OSH,
  • follow-up activities in the candidate countries.

Activities and meetings

Check the library entries for this sectoral social dialogue committee.

Recent achievements

  • UEA and EFBWW memorandum of understanding - A social label for the furniture industry? (2014)
  • Joint position on the creating of a European Furniture Sector Skills Council (2012)
  • Joint declaration – Nano in furniture (2012)
  • Joint Position on the New Community Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health (2011)
  • Brochure "Enhance the value of work in the furniture industry to attract young people (WAVE) (2009)
  • Joint declaration calling on the European and national authorities to help the industry confront the economic crisis. (2009)