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TNCs and EWCs

Transnational Companies and European Works Councils

Public service unions prefer that basic and essential services such as the supply of electricity, health care, drinking water and refuse collection remain under public control. EPSU and PSI bring together the experience of workers and citizens to show how public services can be efficient, effective and responsive to citizens’ needs.

As local authorities and other public bodies privatise and contract-out services, workers and their unions delivering services to the public deal more with transnational companies. Our research shows that there is a grave risk that these companies dominate local communities.

EPSU and PSI aspire to establish European and international trade union structures for workers in transnational companies. These trade union platforms will grow to be effective counter-vailing powers to international management. We work to ensure that transnational companies, their sub-contractors and suppliers respect human and trade union rights. Our work on social clauses in procurement is part of that effort. Public service unions aim to negotiate fair and decent social standards for workers in these services.

European and international trade union structures in transnational companies and industries are part of the efforts of all those aiming to create a world civil society and to prevent that the run-away forces of free market and corporate greed dominate the lives of workers, citizens and their communities. These pages therefore aim to provide resources for trade unions and others on transnational companies.


- EWCs agreements



ETUC preparing for review of the EWC Directive - EWCs need resources to enforce information and consultation rights

(6 October 2014) Resources for European Works Councils to enforce respect by their employers of information and consultation rights and effective sanctions for companies that violate these rights are two of the main issues we should consider when discussing a review of the EWC directive, were two of the main points of the contribution of EPSU’s General Secretary to the annual conference of ETUC and ETUI on European Works Councils. He stressed that EWCs are often not sure who will pay for (...)

EPSU European Works Council coordinators network meeting

29 September 2014, 9h30 – 16h00 ITUH Room B, Brussels Dear Colleagues, You are herewith invited to the meeting of the EPSU European Works Council Coordinators Network. It will take place on 29 September 2014 at the International Trade Union House (ITUH), bld du Roi Albert II, 5 – 1210 Brussels, room B. The meeting will start at 9h30 and will end at 16h00. An area map is enclosed for information. Interpretation has been requested to and from English, French and German. We have also (...)

Unions and EWC GDF-Suez denounce increase of subcontracting and “social dumping”

(19 June 2014) In the EWC meeting of 4 June, employee representatives from all European countries expressed their condemnation of the social conditions being experienced by employees in the group to the CEO of GDF Suez, Gerard Mestrallet. The EWC members alerted the Group’s management to the strong concerns of employees who, in many of the group’s business activities, such as services for example, are witnessing a draining away of skills and technical expertise in their business areas. In (...)

European parliament votes for rules on corporate accountability and business transparency

(22 April 2014) On 15 April 2014 the European Parliament (EP) adopted a reform to strengthen corporate accountability and transparency regarding the impact of businesses’ activities on human rights, the environment and society. The new legislation will require companies to disclose information about the policies and due diligence processes that businesses have in place to assess risks and to prevent adverse impacts of their operations. In the course of intense negotiations between the (...)

EPSU European Works Council coordinators network meeting

27 January 2014 Luxembourg, Plateau du Kirchberg, Jean Monnet Building, room M3 You are herewith invited to the meeting of the EPSU European Works Council Coordinators Network. It will take place on 27 January 2014 in Luxembourg, plateau du Kirchberg, Jean Monnet Building, room M3. The meeting will start at 9h00 and will end at 16h00. An area map is enclosed for information. Interpretation has been requested to and from English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish. We have also (...)

Resolution of the EU Parliament on Cross-Border Collective Bargaining and Transnational Social Dialogue

(13 November 2013) Below you will find a letter from ETUC concerning the Resolution of the EU Parliament on Cross-Border Collective Bargaining and Transnational Social Dialogue in English and French. The Resolution is a step forward for more a better TCAs. Triggered by Mr. Thomas Handel (GUE), the debate involved all the political forces of the European Parliament in an intensive debate. This final text is a valuable compromise which gathered the positive vote of 80% of the MEPs (from GUE, (...)

Building the information and consultation mechanisms for the Enel EWC members and HR managers within an international dimension

(6 November 2013) On 3-5 September the ENEL European Works Council and some members of the Global Works Council participated in a training project: “Building the information and consultation mechanisms for the Enel EWC members and HR managers within an international dimension”. The training took place at the ILO International Training Center in Turin. EPSU was present and provided a presentation on lifelong learning in Europe and in European framework agreements or social partners’ (...)

Trade union training on CSR - Open call for tender

(22 October 2013) ETUC has published the final report “ Corporate Social Responsibility – Union Thinking on the EU Strategy 2011-2014 for Corporate Social Responsibility”. The publication represents the final output of the CSR project ran by the ETUC in 2012/2013, with the financial support of the European Commission. It identifies trade union priorities in the field of CSR for the years to come, in particular in the framework of the renewed EU strategies. Please find the English and the (...)

EPSU EWC coordinators network meeting (Joint meeting EPSU/PSI)

The next EPSU EWC Coordinators Network meeting will be combined with a PSI Global Energy Meeting. Therefore we would like to stress that this meeting will be of interest mainly to the EWC Coordinators in the energy sector. A ‘normal’ EWC Coordinators meeting will be held in Spring 2014. The meeting will take place on 24 and 25 September in Luxembourg, plateau du Kirchberg, Jean Monnet Building, room M2. The meeting will start at 9h00 on Tuesday 24th and will end at 16h00 on Wednesday 25th. (...)

New European Works Council agreement for Belgian transmission company ELIA

(6 September 2013) A new EWC agreement has been signed for the Belgian transmission company ELIA. EPSU affiliate Gazelco participated in the negotiations. An important characteristic of this EWC is that it is a joint body including 8 management representatives. The Steering Committee has 4 workers’ representatives and 3 management representatives. ELIA is a majority publicly-owned company. The main shareholder is the Belgian municipal holding company Publi-T. The Elia Group hold 60% of the (...)

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