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Sectoral social dialogue - Furniture

Social partners

Employees' organisations Employers' organisations
European Federation of Building and Woodworkers Federation of European Furniture Manufacturers
  European Furniture Industries Confederation
Social dialogue in this sector covers:

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

In the EU, around 2.4 million people are employed in the furniture and woodworking sector.

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:

  • vocational education and training, including activities to attract young workers, and European instruments for vocational education
  • occupational safety and health, including nano-technologies, carcinogenics, musculoskeletal disorders and accident reduction.
  • Sectoral Skills Council

Activities and meetings

Check the library entries for this sectoral social dialogue committee.


  • Joint Position on the New Community Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health (2012)
  • 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)

See also "European sectoral social dialogue – recent developments" (2010 brochure).