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EWC

European Works Council

 

On 22 September 1994, the Council of the European Union passed a Directive (94/45/EC) on the establishment of a European Works Council (EWC) or similar procedure for the purposes of informing and consulting employees in companies which operate at European Union level.

The Directive imposes a works council or an information and consultation procedure in Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings on the basis of an agreement negotiated between employeesí representatives forming a special negotiating body and the central management of the undertaking. It also defines the procedures for the operation of this body. In the cases identified by the Directive in which an agreement cannot be reached, it stipulates the provisions which subsidiary requirements to be established by the Member States must satisfy.

European Works Councils were created partly as a response to increased transnational restructuring brought about by the Single European Act. They give representatives of workers from all European countries in big multinational companies a direct line of communication to top management. They also make sure that workers in different countries are all told the same thing at the same time about transnational policies and plans. Lastly, they give workersí representatives in unions and national works councils the opportunity to consult with each other and to develop a common European response to employersí transnational plans, which management must then consider before those plans are implemented.

The EWC Directive was revised by the Council and the European Parliament in May 2009. The changes contained in the new ("Recast") Directive must be transposed into national law by 5 June 2011, and have important implications for all companies in scope of the legislation, both those with an existing European Works Council and those yet to have set one up. 

The main provisions of the Directives are as follows:

Establishment of a European Works Council or a procedure for informing and consulting employees * in every Community-scale undertaking * and every Community-scale group of undertakings *, on the basis of an agreement between the central management and a special negotiating body.

The central management will be responsible for creating the conditions and means necessary for the setting up of a European Works Council or an information and consultation procedure and will initiate negotiations on its own initiative or at the written request of at least 100 employees or their representatives in at least two undertakings or establishments in at least two Member States.

 

European Works Councils in Europe

European Works Councils in Europe

Information and consultation rights - by DR. GIANCARLO FERRARA, ABI (Italian Banking Association)
Directive 2009/38/EC of the European Parliament

Directive 2009/38/EC of the European Parliament

on the establishment of a European Works Council
UNI Europa Guidelines on European Works Councils

UNI Europa Guidelines on European Works Councils

Adopted by UNI Europa Executive Committee on 29 March 2011
Seville Meeting Report

Seville Meeting Report

Comprehensive summary about the EWC meeting
Legal Expert Presentation

Legal Expert Presentation

Legal Expert Note

Legal Expert Note

Observations made by Professors about the relationship between the European Directive and experience acquired
European EWC Grid - by Unite

European EWC Grid - by Unite

The impact of the Financial Crisis on banking workers  - by ILO

The impact of the Financial Crisis on banking workers - by ILO

Global Dialogue Forum on the Impact of the Financial Crisis on Financial Sector Workers
(Geneva, 2425 February 2009)


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