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Sectoral social dialogue - Woodworking

Social partners

Employees' organisations Employers' organisations
European Federation of Building and Woodworkers European Confederation of woodworking industries

Social dialogue in this sector covers:

  • sawmilling
  • planting of trees for timber
  • manufacture of wood and cork products except furniture

The dialogue excludes forestry and logging activities.

In the EU, the woodworking and furniture sector employs some 2.4 million people.

Competitive strengths of the sector include:

  • the strong technology, know-how and skills base
  • proximity and access to one of the world’s largest markets
  • rising labour productivity, largely due to increased use of automation and information technology

Challenges include:

  • expanding the use of wood, in spite of the increasing substitution by other materials
  • competitive weaknesses relating to the EU lack of “wood culture”
  • high factor costs, causing low profitability.

Focus areas

The Committee is currently focusing on:

  • industrial policy, including innovative actions and aging workforce
  • competitiveness
  • vocational education and training
  • health and safety
  • environmental policies, climate change and biomass

Activities and meetings

Check the library entries for this sectoral social dialogue committee.


  • Joint declaration on working conditions and wood dust (2011)
  • Joint declaration between CEI-Bois, EFBWW, EFIC, HMC and UEA on mobility and apprenticeships in the European furniture and woodworking sectors (May 2011)
  • "Less Dust", report by EFBWW, CEI-Bois and Usl7 (2010)
  • Joint declaration of the social partners in the European woodworking industries, REF-Wood final conference, Nice. (2010)
  • "Reduction of formaldehyde exposure in the woodworking industries", project brochure by EPF, EFBWW and CEI-Bois (2010).

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


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