© 2004

A growing number of
European Works Councils

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Country of ownership

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Since September 1994, there is an EU Directive on European Works Councils (EWC Directive). When it was adopted in the EU Council of Ministers, more than twenty years of discussions were behind all those involved. Until the last day, the employers' associations had then tried to bring the project to fail. Workforces in different countries can be better played off against each other, if representatives can not maintain contacts among themselves. In June 2009, this old EWC Directive has been revised, detailed background information can be found on a special website.

Despite the clear legal basis, 60% of approximately 2,300 companies covered by the EWC Directive have not yet established a EWC. There are 925 companies in Europe in August 2011 with one or more European works councils - without the large number of mergers, it would be almost 1,200. Many companies exceeding the threshold of 1,000 employees (including 150 each in two different countries) still have the EWC foundation ahead.   → more detailed figures

Our consultants help build and develop the EWC and through the maze of laws and policies, establish initial contacts with employee representatives from other countries or trade union organizations in Brussels and learn about other cultures of workplace representation. We also assist during negotiations with the employer and bring in our experiences from other companies.

Our consultancy service:

Prior to the EWC establishment
Inaugural session of the EWC (... and after)
Adaptation of existing EWC agreements

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