Home / EU Social Dialogue / Sectoral ESD / Furniture


Workers’ representatives

European Federation of Building and Woodworkers ( EFBWW) (1958)


Employers’ representatives

European Furniture Manufacturers Federation (UEA) (1950)


European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC) (2006)


Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC)

Informal working group:



March 2001

Rules of procedure:

12 March 2001

Work programme:

2007 – 2008 - 2009

General overview

The furniture industry, a highly labour-intensive sector in which certain processes are at risk of being relocated elsewhere, is a major player in export markets. It consists of a large number of SMEs, which are faced with the challenge of producing high-quality articles (in terms of technology, aesthetics, planning and design) for sale worldwide.

Participants and challenges

The most favoured topics of social dialogue in the furniture sector in recent years have been EU enlargement and extending social dialogue in the new Member States, employment and vocational training, and health and safety issues. This social dialogue brings together the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) on the workers’ side, and the European Furniture Manufacturers Federation (UEA) as well as the European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC) on the employers’ side.


The European furniture sector, which is subject to intense international competition, has generated a social dialogue that could be described as “declaratory”. The social partners are attempting to manage change in a context of globalisation by means of strategies akin to the open method of coordination.

Joint texts

The “furniture” sectoral social dialogue has resulted, since 2001, in the adoption of 7 joint texts.

ETUI and Observatoire Social Européen (2010) European Sectoral Social Dialogue Factsheets. Project coordinated by Christophe Degryse, online publication available at www.worker-participation.eu/EU-Social-Dialogue/Sectoral-ESD