EWC busy with
Speculation over strikes in Germany
Since Opel’s mother company, General
Motors, filed for bankruptcy on 1st June 2009, its future seems
uncertain. Although the German Federal Government secured the planned
sale of Opel to the Canadian-Austrian automobile supplier Magna and the
Russian Sberbank with a bridging loan, the sale is up to now still in
the balance. The European Commission has also expressed doubts.
According to press reports trade unions want to increase the pressure
for the completion of the sale by taking industrial action if
necessary. The IG Metall union has denied this - at least officially.
September 2009 the select committee of the General Motors’
European Work Council has been in negotiations with Magna on the extent
of the planned layoffs. Under discussion is a workforce reduction of
10.500 jobs, of which 4,500 in Germany. Since 2005 the local work
councils of General Motors have given a negotiation mandate to the EWC,
with a view to guaranteeing a common position. It can therefore act on
a European level like a real company-wide central works council,
although the European Union guideline does not provide for this.
day in Antwerp
A one day protest demonstration which was
organized by the European Metalworkers' Federation (EMF) together with
the European Work Council took place on 23rd September 2009 at the
Antwerp Opel site. Around 3,000 participants with many from Germany
demanded a halt to all redundancies and plant closures.
in the UK
A deal signed on
13th October 2009 between the British trade union Unite and Magna
provides a guarantee for the 5,500 employees at the Vauxhall sites of
Ellesmere Port and Luton until 2013.
government procures guarantees
A strike planned for the 27th October 2009 at
the Opel site in Figueruelas, Aragon was called off a few days after an
agreement was reached between the CC.OO. and UGT trade unions and Magna
after mediation by the Spanish government. The number of layoffs is to
be reduced from 1,350 to 900 of the 7,200 employees. Both production
lines will remain in operation with a ten year non-closure guarantee
for the plant. Without this promise the Spanish government would not
have contributed to the rescue package for Opel. There had previously
been mass protests also in Spain (photo).
avoids European Work Council
Magna nor the Sberbank have so far established their European Work
Councils. In 2007, Magna employee representatives from France, Belgium
and Czech Republic officially requested the creation of the EWC.
Central management however allowed the legal period for the convening
of the special negotiation body to pass by. Legally speaking therefore
a default EWC has been in place in Magna, since February 2008, which
has never been convened for a meeting. Instead of a European Work
Council Magna has however put in place an "Employee Relations Advisory
Board" for the monitoring of an employee charter defined unilaterally
by the company. Its members are selected by the company and not by
Action day against Areva break up
In the French
nuclear company Areva, coordinated actions took place on 15th September
2009 throughout eight European countries against the planned sale of
their energy transmission and distribution division. The European work
council together with trade unions also organized a central
demonstration with foreign participants in Paris (photo).
Mobile operator merger in Britain
Télécom and Deutsche Telekom plan to merge their
mobile network daughter companies in the UK (Orange and T-Mobile) with
20,000 employees in a joint venture, in order to become market leader.
British trade unions fear the closure of call centers and offices. On
11th September 2009 they met in Dublin on the occasion of a conference
organized by UNI, the umbrella organization of service sector trade
unions, with representatives from Germany and France, in order to
discuss next steps.
consequences were also discussed on 18th September 2009 in the European
works council of France Télécom. Unlike
DeutscheTelekom, the central management of the formerly nationalized
French company committed in December 2006 to an agreement for social
responsibility (see report in
EWC News 1/2007). Both telecommunications companies created a
EWC in April 2004.
Beer Company sells entire Eastern Europe business
On 15th October 2009 the Anheuser-Busch InBev
beer company announced the sale of all of its subsidiaries in nine
Eastern European countries to a financial investor. The central
management of the world’s largest group of breweries with its
headquarters in Leuven came to this decision, without informing the
European works council created in 1996. The European trade union
federation for the food industry, EFFAT, is therefore examining the
possibility to take legal action. InBev has taken over numerous German
breweries in the past years such as Beck’s or
New Works Council
legislation in Poland
Since 8th July 2009 a newly revised works
council legislation has come into force in Poland. It eliminates the
privileges that trade unions had for the nomination of works council
members, which was still foreseen by the 2006 legislation. In the
future Polish work council members will be elected by a secret ballot
of the entire workforce, as in German work council elections. In the
case where no work council exists, it can be created on the request of
at least 10% of the workforce.
must bear works council costs
new legislation brings another innovation. In the future all the costs
for the election and the on-going activities of work councils are to be
borne by the employers. For the first time in Poland this applies also
to the costs for experts. According to the previous 2006 legislation
all costs had still to be borne by the trade unions. The change in
legislation was made necessary since the Polish constitutional court
had removed the trade unions privileges for the nomination process of
work councils in July 2008 (see report in EWC
News 2/2008). In
addition to the works councils in Poland there still remain company
trade unions, which represent all employees of the company (including
non-members) according to the trade union legislation of 1991.
New time-off rules in Britain
On 14th August 2009
the independent arbitration board ACAS in London submitted a new code
of practice for time-off of employee representatives. This will have a
great practical impact since no precise legal rules exist in the United
Kingdom. The code was established by the ACAS Council, made up of both
trade union and employer representatives as well as independent
experts. Acceptance by British employers is therefore guaranteed. The
code is due to enter into force at the beginning of 2010 after having
recently obtained approval by the Department for Business and the
There are separate
rules for union and for non-unionized employee representatives. The
code not only regulates time-off, but also covers the right to
training, resources as well as confidentiality issues. It applies also
to members of health and safety committees, special negotiation bodies
and European work councils.
market crisis urges Iceland into the European Union
The volcanic island with
320,000 inhabitants and a unionization level of 90% officially applied
to enter the European Union on 17th July 2009. Iceland has been
particularly affected by the financial market crisis and the state is
on the verge of bankruptcy. The admission of this polar circle republic
to the European Union is considered to be unproblematic, because it has
been a member of the European Economic Area since 1994 and therefore
has already transposed many of the European Union Directives such as
the EWC Directive into national legislation. There will be therefore no
changes for European works councils. The entry could probably take
place in 2013 along with Croatia.
Further countries waiting to
for the accession
of Turkey are currently at a standstill, due to amongst other things
their parliament blocking new trade union legislation. Turkey must
first comply with the standards for industrial relations within the
European Union before negotiations can be resumed (see country report
for Turkey in EWC News 2/2007). Negotiations have not yet begun
for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which has been an
official EU applicant since December 2005, nor for Albania, which
officially applied for membership on 28th April 2009.
Conference on industrial
relations à la française
France is one of the most
important member states of the European Union. There is hardly a EWC
without representatives from France; more than 11% of all European work
councils have their central management situated there. However employee
representation is organized in a completely differently manner to
Germany. The employer is the chairperson of the work council, strikes
are considered as a basic human right and co-determination is unheard
of. The French industrial relations model was used as the legal
“blueprint” for the EWC Directive. These are all
good reasons why German works council members should also familiarize
themselves with the subtleties of information and consultation
“à la française”. A one day
conference is being held in Hamburg on this subject on 26th January
working conditions for European Work Councils
Dutch postal service renews EWC
In February 2009
the EWC agreement for TNT was renewed. The logistics company, which is
a spin-off from the national postal service, has had a EWC in place
under Dutch legislation since 2000 with rights extending far beyond the
minimum standards of the EWC Directive.
characteristic for a logistics company to have its dealings spread over
a wide geographical area. The new EWC agreement therefore has been
particularly extended to cover Eastern Europe. The EWC now has 35
members, of which only five come from the Netherlands. In the future,
the steering committee can meet up to four times per year. Each EWC
member has a personal annual training right of one day. The EWC
receives its own budget according to the French model.
accepts better consultation procedure
Well before the new EWC Directive came into
force, a new EWC agreement was signed on 25th March 2009 under British
legislation for the UTC Fire & Security company, and which
already completely integrated the provisions of the new Directive. In
future, the manufacturer of fire alarms and fire extinguishers will
conform to the new definition of information and consultation. The EWC,
which was established in 2005, represents 13 European countries and
meets under the presidency of the employer. It consists of 16 employee
and five employer representatives. The employee representatives select
a steering committee of five members.
Cosmetics Company: Three stage
L'Oréal EWC agreement dating from 1996 was updated on 17th
April 2009 at the headquarters in Clichy near Paris. Although there is
still a right to only one annual plenary meeting of the EWC, the
consultation procedure has been defined more precisely in accordance
with the new EWC Directive and divided into three separate steps. The
steering committee consisting of three members from three different
countries will take responsibility for the process.
The EWC of the
world’s largest cosmetics manufacturer is made up of 30
members of which eight come from France and four from the UK. According
to French custom the employer chairs the meetings. Each EWC member has
a right to two days time-off in addition to those for participating in
meetings, and the steering committee members an additional twenty. An
exceptional three day time-off is given for every consultation
Household and Cosmetics Company
anticipate new Directive
The EWC agreement
from Colgate-Palmolive signed in 1996 under Belgian law was renewed on
8th July 2009. The definition for information and consultation complies
with the new EWC Directive. A new steering committee is to be put in
place with four members coming from four different countries who must
not all belong to the same sex. It will meet once per quarter with
central management. The employer still chairs the EWC and experts may
be provided by the trade unions free of charge. The US company will
therefore benefit from long-lasting subsidies originating from union
4. Current court
Communication rights on
14th May 2009 the High Court
of Justice in Denmark decided that workers' directors may inform their
trade union about a forthcoming merger. In 2000, an employee
representative on the board of Directors of a bank had informed the
chairman of his trade union, Allan Bang, about a planned merger with
another bank. Criminal proceedings were taken against both for illegal
passing-on of insider information. In 2005 the European Court of
Justice then judged that passing-on of information pertaining to the
accomplishment of a professional activity to be legally permissible.
The judgment is of great
political-trade union importance, since Allan Bang (photo) is not only
the chairman of Finansforbundet, the Danish trade union for bank
employees, but also president of UNI Finance, the European and
world-wide federation of financial services trade unions. The issue of
confidentiality obligations is not only present in supervisory boards.
European Work Council members, particularly in Anglo-American
companies, are also often obliged to comply with restrictive
confidentiality clauses in their EWC agreements. This judgment provides
good arguments for the employee representatives to counter them.
No individual opposition rights
against social compensation plan
16th July 2009 the European
Court of Justice decided in Luxembourg that individual employees cannot
contest an incorrectly completed consultation procedure for mass
redundancies. The violation of consultation rights may be challenged
only by work councils and trade unions. In 2006 the labor court in
Liège had awarded higher compensation to several employees
made redundant at the automobile supplier Mono Car Styling, than that
given by the agreed social compensation plan. The Belgian judges argued
that employers had not carried out correctly the consultation procedure
with the employee representatives. The judges in Luxembourg decided
differently: and in their view the higher compensation is illegal.
on the Fujitsu Siemens
Computers case in Finland, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg
(photo) ruled on 10th September 2009 on mass redundancy information and
consultation obligations for employers. According to the opinion of the
court the consultation procedure must be completely finalized before
any layoffs can be notified. The judges assume the following sequence
of events: firstly the parent company makes a fundamental strategic
decision, followed by the information and consultation process carried
out in the subsidiary and only thereafter can the final decision of the
parent company be taken. Any dismissals made in disrespect of this flow
judgment is also of great importance for European work councils, since
it emphasizes the formal operational sequence of the consultation
process. The employer can act only if the consultation with the EWC has
been correctly completed. The consultation procedure is considered
finalized once the EWC has expressed an opinion resolution. Such a
resolution is only possible if the employer has fulfilled its
obligation to provide necessary information. This was defined exactly
for the first time in the Alcatel-Lucent case in 2007 by a French court
in EWC News 2/2007). An incompletely terminated consultation
procedure can lead to invalidation proceedings, illustrated well by the
example of Gaz de France (see report in EWC
created European Work Councils
Swedish hotel chain establishes EWC
March 2007 Hilton sold the 132 Scandic hotels to the financial investor
EQT (see report
in EWC News 3/2007). With
the separation from the Hilton EWC, there were no longer any
transnational representation structure for Scandic. An EWC agreement
was therefore signed on 26th December 2008 under Swedish legislation
and the new EWC held its constitutional meeting in Stockholm on 6-8th
October 2009. The 18 members represent ten countries and meet once
annually. Since the main focus lies in the four Scandinavian countries,
the steering committee is made up entirely of one member from each of
these countries. Sweden provides the EWC coordinator. It is remarkable
that all European countries from outside the European Union are
represented with one observer in the EWC.
Singapore soon with European-wide Representation
On 26th March 2009 the Flextronics electronics
group from Singapore signed an EWC agreement under British legislation.
The EWC is composed of representatives from 15 European Union
countries. The employer is chairman and the employees select a
“EWC leader”. The steering committee consists of
four employee representatives from three countries and three employer
representatives, and meets four times annually. Although the definition
for information and consultation still follow the old EWC Directive and
there is only one annual plenary meeting, there is provision for up to
two annual plant visits.
Printing Company sets benchmark for British EWC agreements
On 16th October 2009 after nearly three years
of negotiations a EWC agreement was signed for RR Donnelley. This US
company will create a European Work Council with representatives from
twelve countries, and already largely based on the improved rules of
the new European Union Directive. The largest printing company of the
world has therefore taken on a leading role for British EWC agreements.
There has also been a world-wide union coordination within RR Donnelley
since March 2007.
texts of numerous EWC agreements are available on a download
minimum social standards
group strengthens social responsibility
new agreement on compliance to minimum social standards was signed on
23rd July 2009 between central management of the French tourist company
Club Méditerranée and the respective
international branch trade-unions. The secretary of the European Works
Council was also heavily involved in the negotiations. The agreement
initially signed in 2004 for Europe and Africa is now to cover all 80
holiday clubs in 30 countries world-wide. It is monitored by a parity
commission and has recently already brought concrete improvements for
Italian holiday clubs, where union rights were being violated.
The second part of
the agreement safeguards the working conditions of seasonal workers in
Europe and Africa, which must not be worse than the local native
employees. This concerns in particular employees from Morocco, Tunisia
and Turkey, who work temporarily within the European Union. In
addition, it concerns holiday clubs all around the Mediterranean, in
Senegal, on the Ivory Coast and in Mauritius. In the future each of
these sites will be visited for three days every season by union
representatives for an inspection of local working conditions.
Following texts are available only in French:
Framework Agreement for Spanish Clothing Company
world-wide framework agreement was signed on 2nd October 2009 in Dublin
between the international federation of service trade unions (UNI) and
the Spanish textile group Inditex (see photo). It strengthens social responsibility on working
time, health and safety protection and guarantees union rights for the
90,000 employees in over 4,400 branches and 73 countries. The
world’s third largest clothing company operates for example
the retail chain Zara. Discussions had already taken place in 2007
between trade unions and suppliers (see report in
EWC News 1/2007).
trade union Charter for tourism
Several international trade
unions presented a Charter for tourism on 9th October 2009 in Brussels.
The charter analyzes challenges for employees in hotels, catering and
transport companies as well as for tour operators and formulates
concrete demands on employers and politicians. An appeal is made for
consumers to take into consideration the social and ecological
consequences with a view to breaking the vicious circle of low-cost
Disputed new SE agreements
French real-estate company as SE
On 15th May 2009
for the first time a company quoted on the CAC 40, the French stock
exchange index, was converted into a Societas Europaea (SE). The
Unibail Rodamco real estate group from Paris operates shopping centers
and office-blocks in eight EU countries, including in La
Défence (photo). Two thirds of its’ 1,600
employees work in France. As there was no European works council yet
established, the meeting of the special negotiation body (SNB) was the
very first opportunity for an international meeting of employee
three-day long constitutional meeting of the SNB, central management
pressed without much room for discussion to have its own pre-prepared
text signed as the SE agreement. The SNB was not able however to agree
to the text and requested the intervention of the French labour
authorities. Finally an SE agreement was signed on 27th February 2009
with provisions to establish a 14 member EWC. The company has decided
for a somewhat unconventional top-management structure. Whereas many
French companies put in place a board of directors, Unibail Rodamco has
chosen to have a separate executive committee and supervisory board.
There is however not a single employee representative on the new SE
Family business escapes co-determination
Huber machine manufacturer from Berching has been operating since 17th
July 2009 as a Societas Europaea (SE). The conversion was completed
just in time before they exceeded the threshold of 500 employees in
Germany. Hereby, the three-member supervisory board is able to remain
employee-free also in the future. The company manufactures water
purification equipment and is present in 16 countries of the European
domestic market with a total worldwide workforce of 800. Strangely
enough no reference to its escape from co-determination can be found in
the press release.
prevents mini supervisory board
Products in Munich has been operating since 18th September 2009 as a
Societas Europaea (SE). The company produces among other things Tempo
handkerchiefs and Zewa paper rolls and employs over 6,500 persons in
six European Union countries. During the conversion to SE status, the
subsidiary of the Swedish SCA group wanted to halve the number of seats
on the supervisory board.
The group had
previously a parity-based supervisory board with twelve members, since
nearly 2,900 employees work in Germany - approximately 44% of the
European workforce. Since this figure is far greater than the threshold
value of 25%, specified by the SE Directive to ensure co-determination
rights, central management could not legally avoid a parity-based SE
supervisory board. They still wanted however to reduce the supervisory
board from twelve to six members.
For the 13 members
of the special negotiation body (SNB) including five from Germany, this
was unacceptable. They proceeded by informing the press at the
headquarters of the parent company in Sweden. The legally allowed six
month's negotiation period was consequently extended and a
co-determination agreement was finally concluded on 2nd June 2009. It
provides for a parity-based supervisory board with six employee
representatives who have to be elected in the meantime: two German work
council members, one representative each from Britain, Austria and the
Netherlands as well as a full-time trade union officer of the German
chemical industrial union IG BCE.
no SE Work Council established
Since a European
works council for the SCA group has been in place for many years as
well as four divisional European works councils, it was decided to do
without the creation of a SE works council for the subsidiary SCA
Hygiene Products SE. In the meantime, the existing divisional European
works councils are to remain in operation.
Parliament pushes for SE Review
European Parliament is of the opinion that the Directive on Worker
Participation in the Societas Europaea (SE) must be urgently reviewed.
The subject was up for discussion in its plenary meeting on 7th October
2009 in Brussels. One of the points criticized in the SE Directive is
its lack of adaptability to any increase in the workforce, which in
Germany can be particularly misused to "freeze" co-dermination rights
in EWC News 3/2008).
on the Allianz SE
In May 2009 the
IMU-Institute from Munich presented a review of employee participation
practice within Allianz after its conversion to SE. What has changed in
the German subsidiary since October 2006, when the insurance company
was one of the first companies in Europe to be converted into a SE?
How many EWC members master
24th September 2009 the
European Union statistics office (Eurostat) presented data on the
development of education in foreign languages. According to the report
there exists a north-south divide between the language-talented
Scandinavians and the mumbling attempts of the British and
Mediterraneans. These practical findings give us guidance as to which
languages require the urgent assistance of interpreters during EWC
is, by far, the most common foreign language in the European Union.
Russian is only more common in Bulgaria, Poland and the three Baltic
states. In Ireland and Britain French is considered as the most
important foreign language. Nowadays, 100% of all pupils in secondary
education in Czechia, Luxembourg, Finland and the Netherlands already
study two or more foreign languages. On the other hand more than half
of all pupils in the United Kingdom learn no foreign language at all
and as much as 19% in Ireland.
difficulties are experienced in southern EU-countries, where 40 to 50%
of the population cannot speak any foreign language at all. In Hungary
the figure reaches 75%. Approximately 29% of the adult population in
Germany does not understand any foreign language, and in France 41%.
The other extreme is Norway, where merely 2.9% of all adults understand
exclusively their native language. In the Scandinavian countries,
Belgium and Slovenia more than half of the population actually master
two foreign languages.
Business English for German
July 2009 issue of the
AiBplus magazine reports on the problems that German work council
members have, when their school English is not good enough to be able
to negotiate with English spoken managers or to communicate with their
EWC colleagues before and after meetings. The article presents language
courses which are particularly useful in such circumstances.
Below is some material that we
have put together which is used in works council language courses (see
a language course is being
organized by the “euro-workscouncil.net”
training and consulting network together with Euro-Team Institut
26-29th January 2010 in Hamburg. The training will concentrate on
typical expressions used in work councils, small talk for the coffee
breaks during EWC meetings and office communication for the EWC office.
The language teachers for these courses have had over 18 years working
experience with work councils and trade unions. The training can be
combined with the EWC conference, which will take place in the same
On the job on-line
further possibility for improving knowledge of languages is provided in
an e-Learning project from the ver.di union training center. A choice
of English, French, Spanish, Italian and German as a foreign language
is available, with additional modules on business culture in different
European countries. The language project is operated by partners from
several countries and sponsored by the European Union. It is however
not specifically addressed to work council members, and is also open to
French dictionary in second
March 2009 the DGB Saar
presented the second edition of its German to French dictionary for the
trade union work. There is also a comparable German to English
dictionary (see report
in EWC News 2/2008).
New EWC Directive leaflet
On 30th September 2009 the
European Commission published a two-page leaflet, clearly outlining the
rules of the new EWC Directive. It is available in three languages:
German, English and French.
New statistics on European
In July 2009 the European Trade
Union Institute in Brussels published new figures which indicate that
there are now 908 European works councils, of which more than one third
in the metal and electrical industries. In the European Union Germany
is listed with the highest number of companies with a EWC in operation.
Standing rules avoid legal risks
only European works councils, but also special negotiation bodies can
establish their own set of standing rules. These are particularly
important to document the correct execution of resolutions e.g. for
forthcoming legal proceedings. Such standing rules have recently been
adopted by the special negotiation body (SNB) of the Japanese Pharma
group Takeda (see report
in EWC News 1/2009) and may be useful as a template.
Country Trade-Union Profile reference guide
EWC member concerned with for example a site delocalization to Tunisia
or planning discussions with employee representatives from Mexico is
able to find a concise description of the most important basic
conditions in the respective country. The trade-union activity of the
whole world is covered in over 200 pages. All countries have their own
profile and are listed in alphabetical order.
Campaign for socially
responsible restructuring in DHL
On 8th September 2009 a union
web page was put in place for DHL employees. The German post office
operates its world-wide logistics business under the brand name DHL.
Following protests against DHL redundancy plans which took place in
Brussels airport already in summer of 2009, the trade unions want to
strengthen the coordination of their activities. A week of action is
planned for November 2009.
Swiss food group likes to
maintain its image as a socially responsible company. The international
union of the food workers documents on a new web page, where
Nestlé goes against its own requirements and which actions
were taken throughout the world.
European Union get closer
entry to the European Union has been under negotiation since 2005, but
there still remains mutual prejudice, making the entry more difficult
report in EWC News 2/2007). A project sponsored by the
European Union aims at bringing employee representatives together and
at promoting dialogue as close as possible to social reality. A series
of conferences and seminars are taking place on the subject, and
contents can be found on a special web page.
Wage and social standards in
the farming industry
wage information system "agri info.eu" supplies data on work and wage
conditions in European agricultural industry. Background information is
available in seven languages on the social systems, employment health
and safety and on the trade unions for 31 countries.
have put together a
collection of additional useful links.
Country reports on
Brazil and India published
The DGB training department in
co-operation with IG Metall trade union has presented two new brochures
in German language on the developing countries, Brazil and India. The
publication on Brazil examines the social
situation and the situation of trade unions under Lula a former trade
union secretary and governing president since 2002. One chapter
highlights the impact of international framework agreements through
several examples from the metal industry.
torn between its economic boom, aspiration for power and social misery
– is the title of the second country brochure. It examines
the economic development and the social change in this developing
country, which has been on the road to economic prosperity since 1991.
Apart from the particularities of the Indian economy, one chapter is
devoted to union activities as well as employment and social rights.
Although India plays an increasing role in the outsourcing of IT jobs, there are no signs of any
German-Indian trade union cooperation.
How far is
internationalization within IG Metall?
The EWC researcher, Dr. Stefan
Rüb, analyzes this question in his thesis published end of
August 2009 and based on numerous interviews. In his opinion, apart
from collective bargaining trade union company policy play a central
role, including international framework agreements for the penetration
of world-wide social standards and European works councils. The author
illustrates in a clear historical review, the tensions and points of
friction that can exist within a trade union organization, when it has
to position itself in a transnational perspective, in order to continue
to act effectively. Rüb concludes with the criticism that the
union organization of IG Metall only implements a real European working
logic in exceptional cases.
Current trends in
European employee Participation
This collection, which was
published in September 2009, describes a German-Dutch conference on
employee participation (see report in
EWC News 2/2008). Topics covered are industrial relations in Germany
and the Netherlands, European works councils and workers'
representation in the Societas Europaea (SE). Dr. Werner Altmeyer of
the training and consulting network "euro-workscouncil.net" describes
EWC intercultural problems and gives positive examples of EWC
contractual policies. The book is available only in English.
Thomas Blanke/Edgar Rose/Herman
Voogsgeerd/Wijnand Zondag (editors)
Recasting Worker Involvement?
Recent trends in information,
consultation and co-determination of worker representatives in a
Deventer 2009, 220 pages, ISBN
978-90-13-06329-5, € 45,-
Legal viewpoint on SE
A second edition of this legal
guidebook have been available since September 2009 and is highly
recommendable for works councils which are affected by SE conversions.
Co-determination issues within the SE are covered in detail. Apart from
the background history to the creation of the SE Directive, the rules
of the merger Directive are explained, which applies to transnational
mergers of public companies. While there are already numerous cases of
SE transformation particularly in Germany, the merger directive has
only been put into practice once, i.e. in the Münchner
Rück insurance company (see report in
EWC News 2/2009).
12. Training and Consulting
Network " euro-workscouncil.net ":
examples from our work
for international framework agreement
6-7th July 2009, Bank Austria and HypoVereinsbank EWC members met in
Bad Hofgastein (Austria), in preparation for the next EWC meeting of
the parent company UniCredit. The focal point of the meeting was a
course given by Dr. Reingard Zimmer, from the training and consulting
network "euro-workscouncil.net", on the development of international
social and ethic standards in banking. The Danske Bank agreement signed
in September 2008 (see report in
EWC News 3/2008) served as a model. A global trade union
network for UniCredit was subsequently set up on 21st September 2009.
Workshop in Romania
workshop for members of European works councils from the services and
metal industries took place on 14-15th September 2009 in the Sinaia
spa-resort in the Carpathians (the photo shows the former royal summer
residence). Around 25 employee representatives from seven countries
exchanged their experiences with restructuring. Dr. Werner Altmeyer
from the "euro-workscouncil.net" also presented the new EWC Directive.
2010 several comparable
EWC Workshops are to take place. Dates are planned in Paris, London,
Madrid, Berlin, Bucharest and Warsaw. More detailed information will
follow in the next edition of EWC News.
Workshop in Montabaur Castle
Renegotiation of EWC agreements
based on the new Directive was the topic of a workshop held from
12-14th October 2009 in the medieval atmosphere of the Montabaur Castle
conference center. 13 EWC members from twelve companies discussed legal
issues with Prof Dr Wolfgang Däubler and exchanged experiences
on their EWC work. Below are some comments given at the end of the
agreement is not so bad; we
just have to make it work.
have prepared an action plan for the next half year.
will now feel more confident in my EWC activity.
workshop was a good preparation for our negotiations.
councils have to tackle the same problems.
clearer now. Does our agreement really reflect our practice?
workshop will be held again
in October 2010 at the same venue.