European Works Council GdfSuez votes to take company to court

(20 May 2010) The EWC of GdFSuez voted to take the company to court over a violation of information and consultation rights as foreseen in the EWC agreement. Management and the EWC agreed to an information and consultation process on the company’s mobility policy at the EWC in October 2008. A working group was established and comments made. Despite the fact that the EWC had not given its final opinion and comments, management published the mobility policy in January 2010. The secretary of the EWC was mandated by the members of the EWC to proceed asking for the cancellation of the January decision by management and for a verdict on the fact that the company had not informed and consulted correctly. The EWC of GdF won a landmark case when management of GdF did not inform and consult correctly over the merger with Suez in 2007.

Other issues on the agenda included the strategic perspectives of the company in energy, water, waste, energy services. The CEO Mr. Mestrallet took time to answer a considerable number of questions on the company’s nuclear policy in general as well as in different countries such as Belgium, France, Italy and Poland; the place and role of Agbar in the international water strategy of Suez Environment; the volatile gas market, dividend policy for the shareholders and free shares for the workers as part of the profitsharing agreement. A key debate took place on the future of Suez Environment in GdFSuez. CEO Mestrallet made clear the continued commitment of GdFSuez to Suez Environment pointing out the results and balanced position of GdFSuez. GdFSuez is one of the least indebted companies in the utilities.

The EWC brought together close to 60 representatives. The meeting took place 19 May 2010, Paris. The EWC held a preparatory meeting 18 May. It was chaired by Robert Textoris. EPSU was represented by Jan Willem Goudriaan.

see also 'GdF Suez mobility policy'

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