EUROPEAN WORKS COUNCILS

In these times of globalisation and Europeanization companies and undertakings are acting both Europe-wide and worldwide. Companies’’ strategies are not being restricted by borders; their effects on workers no longer stop at inter national borders. The law on European Works Councils serves to secure the social dimension of Europeanization. Whether it is a case of TUI, Thomas Cook or Hilton, current developments in the industry, with their publicised staff reduction measures, show the importance of cross-border workers' representation.

European Works Councils have already been established in many undertakings whilst in others initiatives to introduce them are already under way; in many companies, however, there is still no sign of the setting up of European Works Councils.

The ETLC and the European trade union federations are supporting the establishment and work of European Works Councils through direct advice, sending union officials to meetings, training, supplying experts, publishing examples of good practices and by initiatives to strengthen the rights of European Works Councils.

Tasks of the European Works Councils

The European Works Council is responsible in matters which affect businesses or undertakings in at least two EU Member States. An EWC does not replace the national bodies of workers' representation but complements them by a transnational, Europe-wide representation. It must be informed at least once per year of the development of the business situation and must be consulted in cases of major restructurings, relocation or dismissals.

More Information:

The European Trade Union Confederation has set up a very extensive and informative website under the title www.worker-participation.eu. We recommend this internet site if information on European Works Councils is required, such as

  • Establishment of a European Works Council

  • EWC agreements in all industries

  • Undertakings with European Works Councils

  • The EU Directive and national EWC legislation