Brussels, 26th September, 2000
Circular 39 /2000

-To the ECF-IUF Member Organisations
-To the Participants in the Conference

Dear Colleagues,

Please find enclosed herewith the summary record of the ECF-IUF Conference on the Tobacco sector which took place in Barcelona(Spain), on 7 and 8 June 2000.

Sincerely Yours,

-Aux organisations membres du SETA-UITA
-Aux participants à la Conférence

Chers Camarades,

Veuillez trouver en annexe le compte rendu de la conférence du SETA-UITA pour le secteur du Tabac qui s’est tenue à Barcelone (Espagne) , les 7 et 8 juin 2000.
Avec nos meilleures salutations.

-An die EAL-IUL Mitgliedsverbände
-An die Teilnehmer an der Konferenz

Liebe Kolleginnen, liebe Kollegen,

Beigefügt findet Ihr das Protokoll der EAL-IUL Konferenz für den Tabaksektor, die am 7. und 8. Juni 2000, in Barcelona (Spanien) stattgefunden hat.

Mit freundlichen Grüssen,




26 participants from 13 countries participated and 3 guest speakers attended during the conference (see participation list), which took place in Hotel Melia Confort Apolo and was hosted by FAYT-UGT.

1. Opening and welcome

Harald Wiedenhofer welcomed all and thanked FAYT-UGT for their kind assistance in arranging the conference, before giving a short introduction to the agenda. He then welcomed the first guest speaker Axel Heim from
VdC, -The German Cigarette Employers Association

2. The development on the ban on tobacco advertisements – Axel Heim, VdC (The German
Cigarette Employers Association)

Axel Heim first started by stating that the ongoing fights on tobacco create challenges not only to EU, but to all European countries. He concentrated his contribution on the proposed ban on advertisements. Several countries have already practiced ban some years, while others, especially Germany, oppose the proposal and will try to hinder the ban on tobacco advertisement, which is scheduled to be implemented in all countries within 31.07.2001. The proposal opens for national exceptions on :
- advertisement in the press/media until 31.07.2002
- sponsor activities until 31.07.2003
- sponsor activities for e.g. Formel 1 until 01.10.2006
- products with brand names might be produced, but under another name
Exceptions from the ban only when
- information in the tobacco kiosks
- advertisements in and on kiosks in Greece
- advertisements in journals, magazines etc. from countries outside the EU
Germany has started a court case towards the EU Commission and individual cases are also raised concerning the ban on product names (e.g. Davidoff cool water, Salamander and Camel boots). The arguments concentrate on
- the EU has not the mandate for these provisions according the Treaty
- the provision do not gain the Single Market and the media
- the provision goes against the principle of subsidiarity and appropriateness
- the provision infringe international conventions on protection of brands and on intellectual
- the provision infringe European and national constitutions

Heim also underlined that several sectors (and governments) are worried of the development of EU towards some kind of super state and that the industry needs to be clearer when stating their views. He assumed most of these cases should be disclosed within 2 years. He emphasized that in the meanwhile there is a great need to fight against the most far reaching proposals concerning advertisement, manufacturing, sale and consumption of tobacco, while being realistic towards the worries and dangers especially for the youth. He appreciated the co-operation with the employees and the trade unions and would like to continue the joint efforts with ECF-IUF.

Following joined the debate:
Herbert Schenk (NGG), Christian Bouffier (FGA CFDT), Dan Plaum (CG-FGTB)0,
Michel Lorian (FGA-CFDT), Maja Kjær (NNF), Joachim Luz (SITESE), Paul Muresan (Agrostar), Harald Wiedenhofer and Axel Heim.
Short summary of the debate:
- in most countries the co-operation between the social partners were generally good
- some colleagues underlined the lack of willingness by some employers to agree on necessary
social provisions for the work force in a number of restructurings and close downs recent years
- 10 000 employees in Germany have signed a protest letter to the politicians
- tax on tobacco is an important financial resource for the governments
- smoking should remain a personal choice for adults while considering the non-smokers’ needs
- the trade unions need consistency on own strategies concerning the provision on ban and the
draft directive in the wake of health issues, cf. earlier discussions in the tobacco group
- not all answers from the industry are satisfactory on the health issues
- we want a global level playing field on the production of tobacco products
- fanatics and hypocrites in politics must be unveiled
- industry must be more open and communicative, and to offer more money for public or joint
projects in order to gain credibility.

3. Industry strategy and the EU Commission draft directive “Adopting measures for the harmonization and approximation of the laws, regulations or administrative provisions of the Member States regarding the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products”.

3.1 Dave Davies (Philip Morris’ European Headquarter in Geneva)

Dave Davies has been responsible for PM’s strategies concerning how to confront the public and the politicians on these matters. He underlined that it is necessary for the industry not to get isolated, but to join the deliberations and discussions and not to oppose all political regulations concerning tobacco. He admitted that social responsibility was rejected by the industry earlier, but after realizing that this might be bad for business, they changed policy. Naturally there are conflict of interests, also for trade unions and workers may have different interests as workers and as citizens, he maintained.

He also admitted that it may be a long way to go to gain confidence and the only way to do that is to acknowledge the reality and in co-operation with medical expertise develop new and less harmful products. PM are going to launch a new product in the near future based on warming, not burning the tobacco, and claim that this method will eliminate the dangerous ingredients.

He summarised the PM stand as follows:
- industry must acknowledge medical science on the harmful effects
- support actions concerning children/young peoples access to and information on the effects of
- avoid conflict with the public
- support regulations as long as smoking remain an individual adult choice and as long as tobacco
remain a legal product.
- oppose the export ban as it only have negative effects for the employees and European
economy; loss of jobs and income
He finally expressed his hope for a turn in public confidence, and his recipe is:
- the attitude towards, dialogue with, listen to, give concession to and evolve constructive
cooperation with society, i.e. all involved parties.
He also then hoped the employees would be proud of their company.

Following colleagues joined the debate:
Blanca Urunuela (FAYT-UGT), Emiko Murakami (IUF), Dan Plaum (CG-FGTB),
Harald Wiedenhofer, Dave Davies
Short summary of the debate:
- PM’s change in attitude priceworthy and especially important
- PM should introduce the same values globally
- PM support the establishing of social dialogue in the tobacco sector

3.2 Pedro De Andres Yerba (GITES – The International Tobacco Growers’ Association)

Pedro De Andres Yerba underlined the importance of this EU directive and the need to sort out the different issues involved – health, competition and trade, competence of the different bodies nationally and on EU level etc. He believe many of the politicians support the tobacco sector individually of different reasons or grounds, but to day it is hard to give this support openly due to the massive negative focus on smoking. He also finds some of the arguments and proposals contradictory, e.g. the proposed ban on the labelling of ‘light’ etc. on the package. How can the industry then inform on better/less harmful products when all advertisement and product information are banned?

The agriculture bodies within EU have been supportive of the growers, nevertheless are the tobacco subsidies within EU to be reduced in coming years. This will effect several hundred thousand people in EU dependent on the subsidies to weigh up the higher costs to grow tobacco in Europe.

He supported the efforts to influence the politicians and pointed out that even though the Council are to vote on the draft June 14, it is a fair chance that is will be postponed and may be sent for another reading in Parliament.

Following joined the debate:
Roberto Vicentini (FAT-CISL), Herbert Schenk (NGG), Axel Heim (VdC), Michel Loridan (FGTA-FO), Dan Plaum (CG-FGTB), Emiko Murakami (IUF), Harald Wiedenhofer
Short summary of the debate:
- there is fear of huge problems facing the workers in the tobacco sector in years to come
- trade unions responsible for employment and must fight all close downs; either due to industry
driven restructuring or political decisions
- the establishing of industry financed training funds are positive in any case
- national actions, e.g. individual letters to politicians and lists of signatures etc. to be continued
- seek possible support and co-operation with other sectors

First day adjourned at 18.30.


Inger Furmyr welcomed to the second day and read a draft resolution on the EU draft directive.
The resolution were then adopted and decided sent as a press release (see Annex).

4. Development of the social dialogue – Harald Wiedenhofer

Harald Wiedenhofer madegave a short summary of the discussions on the development of the social dialogue in the tobacco sector on European level. As on earlier occasions, the main obstacle to the development of the social dialogue is the lack of consensus within CECCM. More specifically it is mainly some UK member companies who still object to the establishing of a social dialogue with ECF-IUF, by claiming they do not need it since they have perfectly good relationship with the national and company trade union bodies. The secretariat and the UK colleagues are jointly trying to reach an understanding directly with these employers, and therefore this will hopefully be changed during the year. In addition we should question the lack of initiatives from the Commission, since they support and encourage the establishing of a sector social dialogue, but do not really follow this up in concrete terms. He also added that there is a very diverse picture on national traditions concerning social dialogue, and this may also affect the degree of enthusiasm from the involved parties on European level.

ECF-IUF and GITES have had an agreement since 1997 and meet regularly. The next meeting is scheduled for early 2001.

Following joined the debate:
Emiko Murakami (IUF), Roberto Vicentini (FAT-CISL), Aranka Ouwehand (FNV Bondgenoten), Blanca Urunuela (FAYT UGT), Joachim Luz (SITESE)
Short summary of the debate:
- important for us to demand co-operation also in social questions
- the development in EU necessitate more co-ordination of trade union work on European level
- the EU enlargement process does not promote the social issues adequately and social dialogue
on EU level might enhance this aspect
- ECF-IUF + affiliated members involvement in CEE-projects important as well

5. Restructuring – development in the sector

Harald Wiedenhofer presented a draft document on strategies concerning restructurings, close downs etc. (see Annex), discussed during the annual EWC coordinators’ meeting this year. This draft document will be discussed and finally adopted by the ECF-IUF Executive Committee at a later stage. Comments and amendments are therefore welcome, he said.

Following joined the debate:
Maja Kjær (NNF), Christian Bouffier (FGA CFDT), Ferdinand Breiteck (ANG),
Aranka Ouwehand (FNV Bondgenoten), Dan Plaum ( CG FGTB), Emiko Murakami (IUF),
Blanca Urunuela (FAYT UGT), Reinhard Hasenhüttl (ANG)
Short summary of the debate:
- the social dialogue in some countries and companies are not satisfying when it comes down to
concrete action, e.g. the willingness to relocate and retrain people
- the draft document is good, but we should not ever reveal our strategies for the employers
- transnational co-operations within the trade unions difficult sometimes as conflicting interests
not always may be agreed/solved
- social funds in the companies to ensure financial support for social actions is crucial
- information on best practices must be spread
- national modifications will be inevitable and necessary
- trade union strength in the company(-ies) most important
- the ECF-IUF Code of practice for European Industrial Policy (1989) must be distributed to the
participants with the report

6. Working conditions and collective bargaining situation in the tobacco sector
– Inger Furmyr

Inger commented shortly the background for the questionnaires on the collective bargaining demands and results and urged the participants to fill them in and send the secretariat by return.(see Annex). Harald supplied with information on the Executive Committee decision to start the exchange of information on these issues. There exist a great need for mutual information and for possibilities to discuss this information in order to understand the collective bargaining structures and priorities of demands. If the ideas and strategies on future co-ordination of collective bargaining should come through, this previous stage of information is crucial. As the tobacco sector is more surveyable than most other sectors, we should indeed be able to do this more easily.

Following joined the debate:
Joachim Luz (SITESE), Dan Plaum (CG FGTB), Christian Bouffier (FGA CFDT), Herbert Schenk (NGG), Blanca Urunuela (FAYT UGT), Aranka Ouwehand (FNV Bondgenoten),
Kjersti Langseth (NNN)
Short summary of the debate:
- national priorities differs, e.g. working time reduction: annually, weekly etc.
- more direct contact between trade unions and individuals on transnational level are possible
via e-mail, chat lines on internet etc.(ECF-IUF is to open a web page in the near future)
- annual meeting in the tobacco group important, but also meetings within regions etc. would be

7. Other business

Blanca Urunuela informed on the merger of Tabacallera and Seita (now Altadis) and the ongoing negotiations on employment and social plans for the employees in all the involved companies.both Spain, France and Portugal. They have agreed on a European body for negotiations and are discussing the process and aims for the establishing of an EWC. The negotiations are hard and they have involved experts to analyse both the juridical and political aspects of different solutions. It involves several countries in Europe and also several different trade unions and employees throughout all the involved companies. This put a hard pressure also internally on the trade unions to agree before fronting the employers. The negotiations continues in September.

Due to the fact that Dan Plaum will retire next year, this conference would be the last annual tobacco conference for Dan. Harald therefore used this opportunity to especially thank Dan for all the years he has contributed with his experiences and knowledge in the tobacco sector, on European level as well as in Belgium.

Thanking all participants for the contributions during two busy days, Harald Wiedenhofer adjourned the conference at 13.00 hours.



ECF-IUF Tobacco Conference

Barcelona, 7-8 June 2000


BELGIQUEDan PLAUM(La Centrale Générale)




Luis Enrique MEDINA(CCOO Aliment.)
Blanca URUÑUELA(U.G.T.Aliment.)
Jose Julio ESTEVEZ( U.G.T.Aliment.)
Milagros OLIVA(U.G.T.Aliment.)
Andres COBOS(U.G.T.Aliment.)



LITUANIARicardas BERZINIS(TradeUnionofFood Producers)





Frumosu DRAGOS(Fed.Food Trade Unions)


              Inger FURMYR


GuestsDavid DAVIES(Ph.Morris)
Pedro de Andres Yerba (Altadis)
Yolanda GARCIA(Altadis)