Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Sectoral social dialogue - Woodworking

Sectors of activity :

Social partners


Workers' organisations Employers' organisations
European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) European Confederation of woodworking industries (CEI-Bois)


Social dialogue in this sector covers activities defined by NACE (Rev. 2) code 16:

  • sawmilling
  • manufacture of wood, cork, straw & plaiting products (except furniture).

It excludes forestry and logging.

EU-wide, the woodworking sector employs just over 1 m people (Eurostat, 2014, Labour Force Survey data), in nearly 180 000 firms (Eurostat, Business Statistics 2013).

The sector's competitive strengths include:

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

Challenges include:

  • expanding the use of wood, although other materials are increasingly being used instead,
  • competitive weaknesses arising from the limited awareness of the properties and opportunities of wood in the EU,
  • high factor costs, causing low profitability.

Key areas

The Committee is currently focusing on:

  • industry policy, including innovative actions, demographic changes & sustainable development
  • vocational education & training
  • health & safety
  • environmental policy.

Activities & meetings

Check the library entries for this sectoral social dialogue committee.

Achievements/Joint texts

Check the social dialogue texts database

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